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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #302149

Research Project: Multifunctional Farms and Landscapes to Enhance Ecosystem Services

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Pastures from Space: What can we learn from satellite images?

item Goslee, Sarah

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/26/2014
Publication Date: 2/4/2014
Citation: Goslee, S.C. 2014. Pastures from Space: What can we learn from satellite images[Abstract]?. Northeast Pasture Consortium. p 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Satellites such as the Landsat platform record both visible light and near infrared radiation. These can be combined to produce estimates of standing plant biomass. Satellite estimates of plant production have been widely used in rangelands and forests where large areas are studied. The square Landsat pixel is 30 m (98 ft) on a side, so a typical pasture in the Northeast may only contain a few pixels. The small size and frequent grazing, along with the high likelihood of clouds during the growing season, make it difficult to use Landsat to monitor pastures. Improved methods to adjust for weather conditions and small pasture areas make it possible to compare pastures within a farm for a single date, and to compare pastures on successive sampling dates. We expect to be able to improve the accuracy even more, making satellite data an effective tool for both farm management and regional planning.