Grazing land managers and industry advisors in the 21st century need quick and easy access to up-to-date, comprehensive information to support enterprise decision making about pasture resource management. FORAGE and VegMachine® offer that support.
FORAGE is an online tool within the Long Paddock website. It offers a range of property-scale reports about topics including rainfall, pasture, seasonal rainfall outlooks, ground cover, soil erodibility, land types, tree density and climate change projections – presented as easy to read formats. For example, modelled pasture growth outlooks can help to inform decisions on stocking rates.
The FORAGE website is easy to use – just provide an email address and property coordinates when you request a report. Your customised report arrives by email within the hour, and there is a comprehensive online User Guide and a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help you out (https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/forage/).
VegMachine provides detailed, but simple to run analysis of ground cover within grazing properties. Users can track cover change on any part of their property, benchmark it against local conditions, and relate it to their past management decisions. The VegMachine FORAGE report can return a comprehensive visual assessment of paddock-by-paddock ground cover with a few clicks of the mouse, and the website also includes lots of on-line help materials and how-to videos (http://vegmachine.net/).
Based on 30 years of grazing land and remote sensing science within the Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, these tools make leading science accessible to the grazing industry.
They can give land managers new perspectives on past and future management decisions, and help demonstrate good stewardship to stakeholders and increasingly environmentally aware markets. And they are flexible enough to provide ‘one-off’ assistance for tasks like property acquisition, or ongoing assistance with tasks like monitoring and evaluation.