Satellite Assisted Forage Budgeting
Weekly estimates of pasture biomass and ground cover
  • What are my ground cover levels?
  • What are my paddock pasture biomass levels?
  • How does my feed on offer (FOO) compare to last month?
  • How many grazing days do I have available in each paddock and across my enterprise?
  • When will the mob hit the target weight?
What is the Cibo Labs PastureKey Service?

The Cibo Labs PastureKey service combines world-leading satellite remote sensing and data science with on-farm knowledge to estimate feed supply for every hectare and to monitor changes in the feedbase and land condition on a weekly basis. 

How Does The PastureKey Service Work?

The Cibo Labs PastureKey service uses a “living laboratory” model of agricultural data science tailored specifically to the Australian landscape and livestock industry. The service uses Sentinel-2 satellite imagery captured every 5-days around the earth by the European Space Agency (ESA).


Thousands of GPS-located observations of total standing dry matter (TSDM) collected by Cibo Labs and producers using a mobile App are analysed using machine learning algorithms to deliver within-paddock estimates of TSDM across the entire farm.

The service integrates world-leading data science into some open and easy to use web mapping, data and mobile Apps to support day-to-day grazing management decisions.

Birds-Eye view of the entire farm every week

Fully automated satellite image processing systems correct the 5-day, 10m resolution, 13 band Sentinel satellite imagery for solar illumination, atmospheric effects and cloud cover to provide consistent imagery that can be compared through time (minus the cloudy days). Data is delivered to the client through a simple web map interface within 24 hours of capture.

Save time on more objective pasture assessments

Weekly imagery allows more targeted and objective pasture assessments, saving significant time. Paddocks can easily be prioritised to optimise grazing rotations.


Detailed pasture yield assessments are undertaken using dedicated GPS-based Mobile Apps which are provided to clients to support calibration and validation efforts. 

A Living Laboratory continually refining predictions based on on-ground knowledge

The GPS-based field data collected by Cibo Labs and producers is used the train prediction models based on 5-day satellite data using Machine Learning and high performance computing to "tune" the models for local conditions.


Pasture biomass and fractional cover predictions are generated for every 5-day satellite overpass and delivered within 24 hours via the simple web map and shared data folder.


How accurate are the predictions?

We currently have over 2500 GPS-located field sites being used to train the model. Predicting over a range of ~8000kg/ha the median prediction error is <200kg/ha with an r-square correlation of 0.85.

Importantly, landscapes and pasture systems are highly complex and there will often be anomalies where more field data is needed to improve predictions (there are no silver bullets). In these situations we work with producers to coordinate data collection to improve predictions.

A new estimate for every paddock and the entire farm every 5 days.

Summary statistics on total standing dry matter (TSDM) in kg/ha and Feed on Offer (FOO) in total kg/paddock are generated for every paddock and provided for every satellite capture. Data quality flags are also provided when the data is affected by clouds.

The TSDM and FOO predictions are pushed automatically into third party systems including Agriwebb and  PairTree. Simple CSV and XLS forage budgeting spreadsheets are also provided.

Why Is It Important?

Managing stocking rates is a critical component of profitable and sustainable grazing business. The PastureKey service saves time and improves decision-making by providing objective information on the state and condition of every paddock on a weekly basis. It provides the information needed to support day-to-day decisions, and seasonal and long-term planning. PastureKey can also help provide regulators, supply chains and consumers with objective and transparent data to demonstrate your sustainability credentials.

Getting involved

PastureKey is available as an annual subscription service. Pricing depends on the size and number of properties, and the level of service and support you would like.

We also provide training on Satellite Assisted Forage Budgeting with the support of the MLA Profitable Grazing Systems (PGS) program.

Please contact us for a quote.