PASTORAL

PASTORAL

Pasture Optimisation for Resilience and Livelihoods

Developing a pasture optimisation platform with UK livestock farmers to monitor pasture biomass and carbon storage
Dairy cow

Overview

PASTORAL is working with farmers across the country to develop a digital tool providing near real-time pasture biomass and carbon data. Satellite imagery and advanced algorithms will deliver weekly reports helping farmers improve pasture performance and management.

Optimising pasture management

Improved pasture management can lead to greater efficiency, making farms more productive and supporting soil health. By effectively monitoring pasture biomass, farmers can maximise grass utilisation while reducing inputs, waste and reliance on concentrated feeds. Current monitoring methods can be time consuming and do not always accurately reflect quality or future growth. PASTORAL aims to provide accurate biomass monitoring which supports decision making and saves time. The carbon-ready demonstration will quantify carbon across the farm and provide a carbon storage evidence base.

About the project

PASTORAL is funded by Innovate UK and led by Environment Systems in partnership with the Soil Association and the University of Edinburgh. Working with livestock farmers across the UK, PASTORAL is finding out more about farmers’ needs and preferences. Participating farmers will receive early access weekly pasture biomass reports and monthly/annual carbon budgets to test the tool and provide feedback.

Farmers will be at the heart of our development process, with a series of workshops and field labs to enable discussion and ensure reports are appealing and provide value.
Cows in pasture

The science behind PASTORAL

PASTORAL combines satellite imagery and modelling to monitor biomass, predict grass growth and produce carbon budgets. Optical imagery only sees the top layer of the canopy and is obscured by cloud, while radar imagery sees through cloud but is noisy. Combined with a model of carbon flow, developed by the University of Edinburgh, PASTORAL provides per-field biomass records as well as showing pasture biomass over time.

Ways to be involved:

Project progress

Funding

Innovate UK

Partners

PASTORAL partners

Stakeholders

PASTORAL stakeholders