World-First AgTech Partnership Unveils Technology Allowing Farmers to Measure Grass from Space

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 06:55 am

Origin Digital and Aspia Space have today announced a revolutionary new technology that could revolutionise grassland farming. Developed as part of Origin Digital’s ‘GrassMax’ service, the new technology is capable of accurately measuring the height of grass from space.

Duncan Robertson, Head of R&D at Origin Digital, said: “This is a game-changing moment for grassland farmers and the businesses that partner with them. For the first time, they can remotely and automatically calculate the quantity of grass in their fields and paddocks, on a regular basis and at scale. This enables farmers to make better-informed decisions regarding grazing schedules, animal nutrition, and silage cuts for example, resulting in less waste and a more stable, sustainable food supply.”

Kieran Holden, Grassland Digital Specialist at Origin Enterprises, added: “The main benefit is in how farmers like me can use this data through the GrassMax app to increase grass utilisation on their farms. It’s remarkable to consider that grass utilisation alone accounts for 44% of the variation in net profit per hectare on dairy farms. In Ireland, each additional tonne of grass utilised per hectare translates to a €256 increase in profit. Integrating this automated grass measurement data into GrassMax will give it even more power to help farmers optimise their grass use, with even a half tonne per hectare increase in utilisation equating to a €10,000 increase in profitability on an 80 hectare farm.”

Origin Digital and Aspia Space have developed the ground-breaking technology with the help of a vast pool of ground-truth and field-trial data, alongside a strong network of farmers and agronomic experts. Aspia Space’s AI algorithm, ClearSky, uses satellite data to estimate grass height to within an accuracy of just 1.5 cm.

Devlyn Hardwick, GrassMax Product Manager at Origin Digital, said: “The businesses that partner with grassland farmers can also benefit. GrassMax enables businesses to track live and forecasted grass yield, how many days animals are at grass in the fields, and a host of other metrics targeted at increasing fertility, yield, and efficiency to meet the growing demand for milk and dairy products sustainably.”

The potential of the new technology is far-reaching, extending beyond agriculture to local councils, amenity providers and estates. GrassMax will launch in Ireland later this year, with Origin Digital and Aspia Space then planning to localise their breakthrough remote measurement technology to more countries and climates around the world.

Today marks a world-first technology breakthrough that could revolutionise grassland farming, with Origin Digital and Aspia Space announcing the launch of their ‘GrassMax’ service later this year. The new technology will enable grassland farmers to remotely and automatically calculate the quantity of grass in their fields and paddocks, with the potential to increase farm productivity and profitability while verifying sustainability practices in the livestock supply chain.

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