Western Australian pastoralists can now access updated satellite information to support rangelands management.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has made available normalised differential vegetation index (NDVI) information for pastoral leases.
Department A/Team Leader Rangelands Science Nathan Penny said the information could assist lease-level decisions to manage livestock.
“Pastoral lease areas of WA cover more than 850,000 square kilometres with a wide diversity of vegetation types, seasonal conditions and topography,” Mr Penny said.
“NDVI can be used to help estimate the amount and health of green vegetation, and the response of pastures to rainfall.
“That is, the more green that the satellite ‘sees’, the higher the value.”
Online graphs allow users to compare current seasonal conditions with the past two years, along with historic good and poor years.
“This can assist in putting the current season into perspective in terms of the impact on vegetation growth,” Mr Penny said.
He said the seasonal NDVI was only one tool, and should be interpreted together with other information, such as an on-ground assessment of pastures and weather forecasts.
“DPIRD is continuing work to improve rangelands monitoring to support a profitable and sustainable pastoral industry,” he said.