Mallee has a lightly treed grassland landscape where the proportion of exposed soil is high. Satellite based grass curing monitoring methods tend to underestimate re-growth after summer rainfall events and fail to detect late season green up in Mallee. The RISER team and CFA is investigating if UAV imagery can provide more accurate grass curing estimations as CFA expands the geographic coverage of its curing estimates interstate.
Mark had a meeting with Danielle Wright and Rachel Bessell from CFA on preparing for field data collection at Murrayville in Mallee. In the meeting they reviewed photos and field notes from recent preparatory field trip to Murrayville. Four paddocks (see below), with major pasture types natural grassland, barley grass, wheat, and cured barley grass, were deemed suitable as study sites.
The first field sampling will take place in the week of 19th–23rd October. Besides UAV imagery, reference grass curing observations will be taken using various methods, including rising plate meter, robel pole, destructive sampling, visual assessment and oven drying. The RISER team (Mark) will collaborate with CFA and ThinkSpatial on this field sampling.