Our own Ollie Roberts, Pasture.io's Founder and CEO, recently took part in a BBC episode from the Follow the Food television series.
James Wong interviewed Ollie. James is a botanist who has set about exploring the future of farming with advances in digital technology combined with traditional farming techniques.
You can watch Ollie's interview from about 19:00 minutes into the video.
Otherwise, read on to see what Pasture.io is doing in our bit with technological innovation for advancing farming.
Approximately a quarter of the global land surface consists of pastures for grazing livestock. These grasslands are a vital part of the Earth's ecosystems, storing carbon and providing food and water. They also play a role in climate regulation.
And this is where our service, Pasture.io comes in.
Pasture.io focuses on building tools to make it easier for farmers to manage pasture-based livestock systems. We started by developing a model that predicts how much grass will be available on a field at any time of year.
This model helps you to make better decisions about when to rotate your livestock onto different parts of the farm and when to move them to other pastures. We also provide predictions for how quickly the pasture is growing with both biomass and leaf appearance so you can plan your grazing rotations.
Our goal is to help you make more efficient use of your land and produce more food with fewer inputs. Ultimately, reducing your daily decision making fatigue so you can spend more time in the moment with friends and family. That is the opposite to spending time thinking about running out of feed while with friends and family!
We are indeed hellbent on enhancing farmers' livelihoods, and we're doing so by improving pasture management. We encourage improved pasture management, as it directly correlates to profit margins, and you should not overlook this relationship.
We're incredibly proud of the work we're doing at Pasture.io and feel that it's a great example of how technology can advance not just the livelihoods of farmers but the broader community with sustainable farming practices.
Ollie, a 4th generation dairy farmer, turned agtech entrepreneur, knows all too well how the pieces of data come together. This unique and hands-on knowledge of pasture-based grazing systems has driven the valuable service offering of Pasture.io.
In the interview, Ollie also discusses how utilising satellite data is one part of the innovation at Pasture.io. In addition, he elaborates on other data pieces, such as weather information for temperature and rainfall, as they play a critical role in the model's output.
We combine what is on the ground with satellite image analytics, understand climatic conditions with local weather information, and record paddock activities such as fertilisation and grazing events. This understanding is no different to our models.
The difference is that we're throwing a lot of computing power at this issue.
This computing power enables us to analyse all the information not just at a farm level, not just at a paddock level, but at a 3-metre squared pixel level across each paddock. It truly is a brain relieving and highly dynamic spatial geared machine learning model.
Okay, that is enough on the model. Let's get to the crux of what the app does. The app can help farmers not overgrazing or undergrazing or anywhere between those two extremes.
Essentially, farmers can nail those post grazing residuals giving their animals and pasture plants the optimal conditions for performance.
By automatically delivering paddock metrics such as how much pasture is in a paddock or how quickly the pasture growth rate is in each paddock. The numbers can help farmers decide where to graze at the appropriate pre-grazing pasture cover and leave the right residual behind.
The tool helps the pasture plants perform at their optimal best for supplying a cheap and nutritious source of pasture. In addition, the animal's performance increases due to being fed an optimised diet where they don't waste feed or go hungry.
It provides farmers with a clearer understanding of what is happening and automates the decision support tool. This information puts farmers squarely in the box seat. They can choose to ignore the advice or agree with the decision.
The goal is to help the farmer make the management decision from reliable data.
That brings us to the end of this article. Contact us today if you're looking to up your farm management with the latest in Pasture.io smarts.
Until we meet again, Happy Farming!
- The Dedicated Team of Pasture.io, 23 February 2022