My first step to analyzing the viability of my pasture was to produce a digital map. I grabbed some high resolution imagery and drew the boundaries, otherwise known as digitizing or interpreting aerial photography in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) industry. After digitizing the pasture, an array of powerful tools are opened up to me to perform geospatial analysis.
Base Aerial Image
Boundaries Drawn for Pasture
As you can see, pioneer species of trees have popped up sporadically. I’ve decided to work with them rather than against them as they have created wildlife corridors for deer. However I understand that I cannot consider the area beneath the trees as good grazing material. So my next step was to digitize the trees in GIS software, then cut them out of my pasture polygon.
Pasture with Trees Removed
Geometries like area, perimeter and anything else needed can be instantly calculated:
Acreage of Pasture (top is with trees removed)
With these basic data creation steps complete, I can move forward with more advanced analysis to plan the farm. Stay tuned!
Please don’t hesitate to leave comments if you catch any errors in my methodology, can offer feedback, have questions or would like me to perform similar GIS analysis for your property!