Summary: This article compares Pasture.io and Pasture Coach In The Cloud (ITC) across various features like automation, decision support, and cost. While Pasture.io offers advanced analytics and automated data collection, Pasture Coach provides a traditional, hands-on approach. Explore to find which platform suits your pasture management needs.
In the realm of modern agriculture, leveraging technology to enhance pasture management is a pivotal stride towards optimised farming operations.
Two notable platforms, Pasture.io and Pasture Coach, emerge as forefront tools in assisting farmers to make well-informed grazing decisions. While Pasture.io leans towards harnessing the prowess of artificial intelligence and satellite technology, Pasture Coach offers a more hands-on approach with manual data entry and straightforward analytics.
This article delves into a comparative analysis between these two platforms across various dimensions including automation and technology, decision support and planning, reporting and analysis, and cost and support. Through this exploration, we aim to provide you with a clearer lens to evaluate which platform aligns well with your farming ethos and operational needs.
Automation and Technology:
Automated Pasture Readings:
Pasture.io harnesses the power of over 200 satellites that perform near-daily flyovers across your farm. These satellites collect crucial data regarding your pasture’s biomass, growth rate, and overall condition.
The platform employs machine learning models that ingest not only satellite data but also climate and on-farm records to furnish you with precise pasture readings. This automated system is operational even on cloudy days, thanks to artificial intelligence-backed analysis ensuring you get consistent and reliable data for informed decision-making.
Pasture.io’s high level of automation signifies a reduced need for manual data collection, saving you time and providing a modernised approach in a pasture management app.
The intelligent design of Pasture.io employs neural networks, a facet of artificial intelligence that mimics human brain workings, to transcend the limitations of the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). While NDVI provides a basic measure of vegetation health and biomass, the neural network integration in Pasture.io allows for more nuanced and accurate pasture readings.
Pio, as Pasture.io calls its machine learning, analyses complex patterns in the data, enabling a more insightful understanding of your pasture’s condition and growth trends. Pio’s sophisticated technology assists you in making more informed grazing and pasture management decisions.
Manual Data Entry:
Pasture Coach adopts a more traditional approach, requiring you to set up the system with paddock numbers or names and paddock sizes initially. As you conduct your regular farm walks, you manually enter pasture cover data into the system.
This hands-on approach allows for the calculation of individual paddock growth rates based on the data you input. While this manual method might seem less advanced compared to Pasture.io, it provides a straightforward and tactile way of understanding your pasture conditions.
It’s worth noting that you can use Pasture.io for free with manual pasture readings, in a hybrid with both manual and automated readings, or solely rely on automated readings.
The routine of manual data entry during farm walks can foster a close connection with your land, aiding in the observational aspect of farming which is pivotal for effective pasture management. Through this method, Pasture Coach keeps every record and utilises it to determine the growth rate of each paddock, providing you with essential information for planning and decision-making.
In summary, the choice between Pasture.io and Pasture Coach could hinge on your preference for high-tech automation versus hands-on manual data entry. Even though Pasture.io offers a more technologically advanced, automated, and data-driven approach, it too provides what Pasture Coach provides as a simpler, manual-entry based system that may appeal to those who prefer a more hands-on and traditional approach to pasture management.
Decision Support and Planning:
Predictive Feed Wedge:
The Predictive Feed Wedge feature in Pasture.io is a game-changer when it comes to grazing management. This dynamic tool provides you with forecasts on growth rates and leaf emergence, giving you a forward-looking view into your pasture's potential.
This forecasted insight allows you to plan your grazing schedule efficiently, ensuring that your livestock receives optimum nutrition from the pasture.
Additionally, the ration builder tool aids in balancing the diet of your livestock, making sure they receive the required nutrients, which in turn can enhance their performance and overall well-being.
By utilising the Predictive Feed Wedge and ration builder, you're not just reacting to current pasture conditions, but strategically planning for future grazing, setting a foundation for improved livestock productivity and pasture sustainability.
Keeping track of grazing activities is crucial for effective pasture management. Pasture.io automates the recording of where and when you grazed a paddock with their GPS Tracker enabled Auto Grazer feature, freeing you from manual record-keeping. The Auto Grazer system was the first of its kind to introduce the world of grazing to a closed loop of grazing information in a pasture and grazing app.
This feature allows you to plan your grazings for the upcoming week, optimise your stocking rate throughout the season, and match pasture growth with growth rate demand. The automation of grazing records aids in maintaining a well-organised grazing schedule, ensuring that each paddock is grazed at the optimal time, thereby promoting pasture regrowth and livestock nutrition.
Classic Feed Wedge:
The Classic Feed Wedge feature in Pasture Coach gives you a snapshot of your pasture cover, highlighting areas of surplus or deficit. This visual representation is vital for identifying which paddocks are ready for grazing and which need more time for regrowth.
Coupled with a rotation calculator, you can plan your pre-grazing, set target residuals, determine rotation speed, and aim for desired re-growth rates. This tool is instrumental in diagnosing your pasture's situation and planning a responsive grazing schedule.
By understanding and acting on the insights provided by the Classic Feed Wedge, you can work towards a more balanced and productive grazing system.
The Predict Wedge tool in Pasture Coach is designed to give you a glimpse into the future pasture cover before the next round of grazing is completed. By entering data such as cow numbers and expected growth, you get an estimation of how much grass will be available for the next round. This foresight is beneficial for short-term management decisions, ensuring that your livestock has ample forage in the coming days.
It's a tool geared towards assisting you in planning and adjusting your grazing strategy to align with expected pasture growth, making sure that your grazing decisions are well-informed and timely.
In essence, both platforms provide robust tools for decision support and planning. Pasture.io leans towards a more automated and predictive approach, while the same as Pasture Coach in offering straightforward tools for manual planning and analysis. Your choice may rest on whether you prefer a more technologically advanced or a more hands-on approach to managing your grazing schedule and planning for your pasture's future.
Reporting and Analysis:
Various Reporting Formats:
Pasture.io offers a suite of reporting formats tailored to suit your preferences and the demands of your farming operations. The platform provides lists, charts, and map overlays, each serving a unique purpose in presenting pasture data.
The lists offer a detailed breakdown of data points, charts provide visual representation of trends and comparisons, and map overlays give a spatial understanding of pasture conditions across your farm.
Moreover, the export options to spreadsheets and PDFs allow for easy sharing, storage, or further analysis of your pasture data. These multiple reporting formats are instrumental in tracking key pasture grazing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), providing a well-rounded view of your pasture’s health and productivity.
The Paddock History feature in Pasture.io is a comprehensive record-keeping tool that captures every single activity, such as chemical and fertiliser applications, notes, and pasture measurements for each paddock. This meticulous data logging serves as a rich historical record, aiding in understanding the impact of past decisions and environmental conditions on paddock performance.
With this feature, you’re not only keeping track of your pasture’s present state but also building a valuable database that can inform future decisions, aiding in continuous improvement and learning in your pasture management practices. Best of all, Pio, Pasture.io’s machine learning model takes this paddock information to build an accurate picture of what is happening in each paddock and then reports these insights to you.
Pasture Growth Diary:
Pasture Coach’s Pasture Growth Diary is a visual tool that creates a graph with every farm walk entered, summarising pasture cover and growth season on season. This feature allows you to visually track the growth trends and pasture cover changes over time, offering a historical perspective on how your pasture evolves through different seasons. The graphical representation provides an easy-to-understand summary, aiding in evaluating the effectiveness of your grazing management strategies over time.
Annual Pasture Yield:
The Annual Pasture Yield feature in Pasture Coach provides an assessment of how much grass your farm and individual paddocks are growing annually. This analysis is crucial for understanding the productivity of your pasture and identifying areas that may need attention or improvement.
By assessing the annual pasture yield, you’re gaining insight into the long-term performance of your pasture, which is instrumental in making informed decisions for sustainable pasture management.
Both platforms offer robust reporting and analysis tools, each with unique strengths. Pasture.io provides a more varied and technologically advanced reporting suite, while Pasture Coach offers straightforward and essential analysis tools.
Understanding the reporting and analysis features of both platforms can help you choose the one that aligns with your farming operations' data analysis and reporting needs.
Cost and Support:
Dedicated Account Manager:
With Pasture.io, you're not just adopting a technology; you're gaining a partner in your pasture management journey.
The platform offers a dedicated account manager who is reachable via phone, email, and in-app, providing a reliable and accessible point of contact for any queries or support you may need. This dedicated support aims at helping you make the most out of the platform’s features, ensuring that the technology is serving your farm’s unique needs effectively.
Additionally, the provision of detailed instructional videos throughout the app empowers you to self-learn and utilise the platform to its fullest potential.
The level of support Pasture.io provides is designed to provide you with not just a reactive service, but proactive guidance, aiding in continually improving your pasture management practices.
Annual Licence Fee:
Pasture Coach operates on a straightforward pricing model with an annual licence fee of $225 including GST per farm. This transparent pricing structure makes it easy for you to understand the cost involved and plan your finances accordingly. The value extends beyond just your farm; the licence allows free access for 3rd parties added by the licence holder. This feature can be particularly beneficial if you work with consultants, agronomists, or have a collaborative farming operation.
The ability to share access without incurring additional costs provides a cost-effective way to collaborate and make informed decisions based on the data available on Pasture Coach.
Keep in mind that Pasture.io does not charge for additional users and you can set their access permissions for levels such as viewer, editor, administrator, owner, etc.
Each platform has structured its cost and support model to cater to varying preferences and needs. Pasture.io emphasises personalised support to ensure you can maximise the benefits of the platform, while Pasture Coach offers a transparent and straightforward pricing model with the flexibility of sharing access with third parties.
Your choice between the two might hinge on your budget, the level of support you desire, and the collaborative nature of your farming operations.
The journey towards efficient and sustainable pasture management is significantly augmented by the right technological tools. Both Pasture.io and Pasture Coach come with a suite of features designed to streamline your pasture management processes. Pasture.io stands out for those inclined towards a high-tech, automated, and data-driven approach, offering a robust framework for predictive analysis and seamless reporting.
On the flip side, Pasture Coach appeals to those who value hands-on management, providing a platform that fosters a close connection with the land through manual data entry and straightforward analytics. In saying that, Pasture.io can be used for manual data entry only, and at the same time with automation - the choice is yours in this pasture app.
Your choice between the two would hinge on your technological affinity, budget considerations, and the level of personalised support you desire. As you stride towards making an informed decision, reflecting on your long-term pasture management goals and how each platform aligns with these goals can be a prudent step.
Until we meet again, Happy Farming!
- The Dedicated Team of Pasture.io, 2023-09-13