Validating remotely sensed land condition products for Paddock to Reef reporting

The goal of the project is to test, validate and recommend a set of land condition products (LCPs) to help evaluate the impact of management practice, and practice change, on grazing land in the reef catchments. LCPs are spatial mapping of the state and/or trend in grazing land condition in either a raster or vector format. These will be used by the Paddock to Reef (P2R) team to help evaluate the impact of management practice and practice change on grazing land in the region. Any LCPs would also be useful to a wide range of Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) extension activities including Grazing BMP,, and regional extension efforts.

The project activities can be summarised in four main actions:

  1. Aggregating a large set of mapped sites where land condition data (or related assessments) have been collected at least once since 1988. The mapped site data will incorporate the history of land condition measurements known from each site, and a set of expected LCP responses based on that land condition history per This will form a valuable legacy product that can be used by the RD&E community beyond the life of this work to evaluate new LCPs.
  2. Compile and/or generate a range of LCPs that can be tested on the mapped site Some of these products will be direct downloads from sources like AusCover and DSITI (e.g. ΔGC rasters) and others will be generated in house by Beutel (e.g. RESTREND products). Suggested LCPs at this point include:
  • ΔGC
  • Medium term cover percentiles (eg 10 year 50th %ile)
  • Historic cover decile
  • Anniversary date mean and variance
  • Optimised stratifications
  1. Evaluate the performance of each LCP on each mapped site, comparing its actual and expected response at the site and scoring the fit based on this com Scores for each LCP will be aggregated across sites as well as a number of site covariates (e.g. average rainfall, soil type, season). This will allow comparison of the performance of LCPs globally as well as in specific parts of the landscape and time series.
  2. Recommend a set of LCPs for use by P2R team, including preparation of initial LCP products for the P2R team.

When: 1 April 2017 to 30 June 2018

Where: Queensland

Contact: Terry Beutel E:

Collaborator: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

This project is now concluded. The project developed a land condition index for use in the Paddock to Reef Program. It is also one of the streams of work that has fed into the development of a remote land condition monitoring program for Queensland which is now underway.

More information

A fuller description of the project can be found in: Beutel, T. S., Shepherd, R., Karfs, R. A., Abbott, B. N., Eyre, T., Hall, T. J., & Barbi, E. (2021). Is ground cover a useful indicator of grazing land condition? The Rangeland Journal, 43(1), 55-64.