Australia, 3 July 2006 – Landholders across the northern rangelands of Australia can now use satellite monitoring to keep track of environmental changes on their properties. The new system, which is called VegMachine, has been trialed across 80,000 square kilometres in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.
NT Government researcher Luke Peel wants to see the free computer software program used more widely. “It gives you a birdseye view of the property,” he said. “The idea is the mystery of satellite imagery, what it can say and do is being exposed back. “It still hasn’t got to the point where we can actually work out kilograms per hectare on the ground. “But, it certainly gives an idea of how productivity can be related to use of the resources or trapping of the resources available.
“Whether it’s the actual vegetation, the soils or the nutrients in the soil.” A total of 33 properties have been involved under a research partnership funded by Meat and Livestock Australia and the respective state and territory governments.