IFEVA and society

Monitoring forage production using satellite data

An IFEVA’s laboratory (LART, Spanish acronym for Laboratory of Regional Analysis and Remote Sensing) has published online an open-access database of forage production at spatial and temporal scales never seen before in our country. The database covers about one million hectares of the principal forage resources of major livestock regions in the Pampean, Mesopotamic, Puna and Patagonia regions. Focused on natural grasslands and annual and perennial sown pastures, it provides monthly forage production from year 2000 to the present.

Forage production was estimated monthly from remote sensing data at the paddock level. A geographic information system (GIS) associates paddock polygons with their area, land use, satellite data, meteorological information, and empirical models that estimate forage production. Farmers access the information of their own farm with a password. Data of each forage resource are averaged within homogeneous agro-ecological regions and published online with open access. The site also includes the conceptual basis, methodology and suggested bibliography.

This tool is expected to collaborate with farmers’ management decisions, such as forage budgeting, setting of livestock rate, and evaluating farm performance. It was developed with funds from the University de Buenos Aires (UBA), the National Scientific and Technical Promotion Agency (ANPCyT), the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), and farmers associated with AACREA (Argentine Association of Regional Consortia of Agricultural Experimentation).The laboratory is working in a national project in collaboration with INTA and AACREA, with additional funding from IPCVA and support from the livestock production area of the Ministry of Agriculture. Results of this project are in produccionforrajes.org.ar.

Contact: lart@agro.uba.ar.

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