With the New Zealand grazing system data collection is integral to the operation. it is a low input/output system based on intensively grazing grass but with good control healthy margins are maintained. The herd graze different fields every day or two on a rotation basis. Fields are used when the dry matter has reached a certain level and the total dry matter is the whole field is calculated. Therefore knowing the field sizes is important.

The whole farm was flown with a UAV (drone) in 6 flights. The resulting 1700 images were then processed by Drone Deploy to create one seamless map of the farm. This was then used in ArcGiS to capture all the fields and accurate areas can be calculated. In addition water pipes and troughs were all mapped plus other infrastructure such as farm tracks, and power supplies including the route of overhead cables crossing the farm. All the data was provided on A0 laminated plans. 

The next job is to produce "Manure Management Plans" which is another ideal task for GIS. The location of the manure heaps has to be shown together with watercourses, boreholes and ponds which have to show "buffers" around them. There area a number of other areas shown including for example Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, steeply sloping fields and highly permeable soils. All data is dipslayed using a simple colour coding system.

 

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