Pasture feed on offer (FOO) and growth rate maps

Page last updated: Monday, 20 May 2019 - 1:03pm

These maps are generated from Pastures from Space to estimate pasture feed on offer (FOO) as kilograms of dry matter per hectare, and plant (pasture and crop) growth rates (PGR) as kilograms of dry matter per hectare per day, for the south-west of Western Australia on a weekly basis.

Pastures from Space utilises satellite imagery to estimate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index or NDVI. On-ground measurements over a number of sites and years has calibrated the satellite NDVI measurement to the growth rate and FOO of pastures. The PGR calculation also uses soil and weather inputs.

In autumn 2019 the new look Pastures from Space website will be launched which covers southern Australia and provides access to the historical data, shire detail and detailed maps for FOO and PGR. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) will have a dedicated area with PGR and FOO maps and tools specifically for WA producers in the south west. Announcement coming soon!

In the interim we will be showing FOO and PGR images on this page to assist farmers with seasonal planning. 

FOO and PGR Images 

For greater resolution highlight the map and right click to save onto your device. Open the image file and zoom in to the area of interest. Each pixel is 250m by 250m or 6.25ha. You can estimate your FOO and PGR from the images and then use this information in the supplementary feed calculator. Alternatively, download the PDF file at right for more detail.

Pasture Growth Rates (PGR) and Feed on Offer (FOO) 2019

Table 1 Plant growth rate (PGR pasture and crop) in kilograms of dry matter per hectare per day (Kg DM/ha/day); and feed on offer (FOO) in kilograms of dry matter per hectare (Kg DM/ha)
Week ending PGR (Kg DM/ha/day) FOO (Kg DM/ha)
14 May 2019 south west PGR 14 May 2019 south west FOO 14 May 2019
7 May 2019 south west PGR 9 May 2019 south west FOO 9 May 2019
30 April 2019 right click on image to open in more detail  PGR 30 April 2019 right click on image to open in more detail FOO 30 April 2019
23 April 2019 south west PGR 23 April 2019 south west FOO 23 April 2019
16 April 2019 south west PGR 16 April 2019 south west FOO 16 April 2019
9 April 2019 south west PGR 9 April 2019 south west FOO 9 April 2019
3 April 2019
south west PGR 27 March 2019 south west FOO 27 March 2019

* images supplied and processed by Landgate. 

Key FOO and PGRs for managing sheep

Go to the Seasonal 2019 webpage for more information on how the season is unfolding.

The target FOO to reach before stopping supplementary feeding for sheep is about 700 kilograms of dry matter per hectare, and for cattle is about 800 kilograms of dry matter per hectare. This assumes that sheep pastures are clover based and cattle pastures are more grass based.

The PGR needs to be greater than the rate of pasture removal by grazing animals, otherwise FOO will decrease and further reduce growth rate. See Grazing annual pastures in winter and spring for tactics in managing pasture to manipulate the quality and quantity of pasture as well as the composition; increasing animal production efficiency and achieving production targets; reducing insect populations; and ensuring pasture persistence. 

See Annual pasture quality and quantity for more information about FOO and PGR. As the growing season ends, vegetative groundcover needs to remain above 50% to protect the soil from wind erosion.

About Pastures from Space

Pastures from Space is a partnership between CSIRO, DPIRD and Landgate and started providing estimates of PGR and FOO in 2002. This service provides estimates at the pixel level for southwest Western Australia, measured using remote sensing. 

Contact information

Danny Roberts
+61 (0)8 9892 8535
Perry Dolling
+61 (0)8 9821 3261