Imagery for impact Data for pasture productivity

Cibo Labs depends on DEA data to help graziers manage more than 20 million hectares productively and sustainably

Published:22 May 2020

Alt = aerial view of more than 50 brown cows walking together on dirt road

In 2020 Digital Earth Australia (DEA) launched its inaugural DEA Labs program, with the aim of demonstrating the value of Earth observation-derived data products and services to industry.

The initiative invited Australian businesses of any maturity to apply to the incubator and brought successful participants together with DEA technologies to solve real-world problems through collaboration, funding and support. Queensland-based agricultural data analytics company Cibo Labs was one of three participants in the program.

“DEA Labs was an opportunity for us to build on a range of research and development that we’ve been working on, and to be able to accelerate that work into operational platforms,” says Cibo Labs co-founder and Managing Director, Phil Tickle. “We focus on the application of remote sensing into agricultural systems and particularly the extensive grazing enterprises … We’re delivering services to about 20 million hectares on a weekly basis.”

Cibo Labs uses DEA Sentinel-2 data

Cibo Labs applies remote sensing science and machine learning to gain new levels of understanding on pasture productivity and land condition to support the red meat and livestock industry. The company combines DEA’s datasets with its own on-ground data and machine learning techniques in its MyFarm platform.

Screenshots of purple and green satellite imagery website on mobile phone with background of hand with soil

CiboLab’s MyFarm dashboard presents near-real-time data at paddock-scale, showing how much feed is available, enabling farmers to optimise stock rates and grazing patterns

DEA Sentinel-2 data is used by Cibo Labs as an input to biophysical models that predict within-paddock pasture biomass every five days across Australia’s extensive grazing lands.

Primary producers use this information to monitor land condition and optimise stocking rates for available pasture. The tool provides information specifically tailored to a producer’s farm, helping to make decisions less complicated, more profitable, lower risk, and more environmentally sustainable.

More than 10 million hectares of ground cover and pasture biomass are processed by Cibo Labs on a weekly basis, including for several of Australia’s largest cattle companies. Technologies that improve the management of the feed base for stock have been reported to reduce production costs by about 4% for Northern Beef, 8% for Southern Beef and 9% for Sheep.

Phil Tickle joined us for the May 2020 Digital Earth Australia Showcase:

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