Get pasture measurements sent directly to you with the SPACE™ (Satellite Pasture and Cover Evaluation) service from LIC.

Good pasture management is vital to maximising your farm’s productivity and profitability, but current measurement tools aren’t always adequate. They can be time-consuming and results can vary depending on who’s doing the measuring.

That’s why we’ve created SPACE™ service – a New Zealand first for pasture measurement. You get detailed pasture data, from images taken by satellites, emailed directly to you. So you don’t have to do the hard yards.

  • Time saving – measure your pasture without walking the farm
  • Convenient – get pasture data emailed directly to you
  • Objective – carry out measurements using one, repeatable method
  • Integrated – upload pasture data automatically to MINDA Land & Feed

Now available throughout New Zealand.

SPACE™ upgrade

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LIC SPACE™ has had an upgrade. See what improvements LIC have made to the service that will enhance your pasture and cover evaluation experience.

For more information, see the Pasture Growth Forecaster section below.

How the SPACE™ service works

Satellites currently pass over New Zealand daily. Once you’re signed up to the SPACE™ service, we will start receiving images of your farm from the satellites. When the weather and satellite positioning allows a clear image of your farm to be taken, it is analysed, and a detailed pasture data report will be sent to you the next day.

It’s a game-changer for pasture management, utilising an algorithm developed by LIC scientists to estimate pasture cover for New Zealand farmers.

The SPACE™ report includes:

  • an image of your farm which presents pasture cover variation by colour, showing differences across the farm and within each paddock;
  • an image of your farm showing any areas covered by shadow and cloud;
  • a detailed feed wedge; and
  • the latest paddock ranking and estimated dry matter per hectare (kgDM/ha) for each.


Satellite above earth large Space

One giant leap for pasture management.

As with most pasture measurement systems, limitations based on weather conditions are to be expected.

Although our satellites pass over New Zealand daily, we will only send you a satellite report if the satellite captures a clear image of your farm so we have usable information about your pasture. 

As weather conditions (including cloud and haze) and satellite positioning can restrict the satellite’s ability to get a clear image, the frequency of your reports will vary. Every time the satellite captures a clear image of your farm, you will receive a report the next day.

The new Pasture Growth Forecaster (see below) allows us the fill the gaps when longer periods between satellite reports occur.

The Pasture Growth Forecaster (PGF) is a statistical mathematical model that calculates pasture growth from the environmental conditions experienced at a site. These environmental conditions include soil temperature, solar radiation, potential evapotranspiration, rainfall, soil water holding capacity and fertility. These climate data are provided by NIWA’s Virtual Climate Network Stations (VCNS).

Virtual Climate Station (VCS) data provide estimates of climate for the whole of New Zealand at a 5km grid scale. These data are run through the Pasture Growth Forecaster to calculate the historical pasture growth rates experienced within each grid.

The model, when provided with measurements of actual cover uses these in a learning algorithm to improve accuracy. This improvement is achieved by adjusting the models mathematical parameters such factors as soil fertility and soil water holding capacity. SPACE provides pasture cover data of good accuracy within the low to medium cover range and this feedback to the model continually improves accuracy over time as the model learns about the paddock.

The LIC SPACE system uses a combination of satellite data and PGF data to produce pasture reports for days where satellite data is not available, and to estimate readings for paddocks with high dry matter that would otherwise be impacted by spectral saturation.

The example is a six day gap between last satellite report and an estimated cover report.

The example is a six day gap between last satellite report and an estimated cover report.

Industry Initiative

Good pasture management is the key to farm profitability. DairyNZ and B+LNZ are confident that pasture growth forecasts will help farmers make better decisions on supplementary feeding, grazing rotations, silage making and nitrogen management. Funded by DairyNZ, B+LNZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries through the Primary Growth Partnership.

Rezure partners

FarmWise have reviewed the SPACE™ service and endorse the use of it to obtain pasture measurement data.  FarmWise are specialists in helping you optimise pasture and farm resources.

If you would like to discuss how to use the measurement data to achieve pasture optimisation talk with a FarmWise Consultant. 

SPACE™ Prices

The SPACE™ service is an annual subscription which is charged monthly and calculated on farm size.

Farm size (ha)

Price (per annum) +gst

Farm size (ha) 0-50

Price (per annum) +gst $1050

Farm size (ha) 51-80

Price (per annum) +gst $1550

Farm size (ha) 81-100

Price (per annum) +gst $2050

Farm size (ha) 101-150

Price (per annum) +gst $2300

Farm size (ha) 151-200

Price (per annum) +gst $2550

Farm size (ha) 201-300

Price (per annum) +gst $2800

Farm size (ha) 301-400

Price (per annum) +gst $3050

Farm size (ha) 401+

Price (per annum) +gst $3050 + $1.00/ha

Questions about the SPACE service? Call us today.

P:  0800 772 234

The LIC pasture evaluation service, SPACE™, assists you to estimate the amount of dry matter on the mapped paddocks on your farm.  LIC will use its best endeavours to ensure that the results in SPACE™ reports are as accurate as possible.

The SPACE™ service relies on information from sources, some of which are not controlled by LIC, and clear images of your farm. Availability of clear images is affected by weather conditions and satellite positioning.  LIC makes no representation as to how frequently you will receive a SPACE™ report as this is subject to the satellite capturing a clear image of your farm.

The calculations in SPACE™ reports are based on standard farm pasture grasses grown in standard farm conditions.  Uncommon grasses or non-grass vegetation, shadowing or localised geographical conditions may affect the dry matter calculation.  The SPACE™ service is supplied to you subject to the LIC Service Rules.

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Sign up for a free SPACE™ service trial here.

Assess the benefits of SPACE without being charged during a four week free trial period.

Register now

space logo

Sign up for a free SPACE™ service trial here.

Assess the benefits of SPACE without being charged during a four week free trial period.

Register now