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Canopeo – An App to Help You Measure Your Pasture Cover

By   /  October 7, 2019  /  No Comments

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In his article this week, Troy Bishopp describes an app that Victor Shelton used to look at cover on Troy’s pastures. With just a few photos, Troy learned the 80% cover that he thought he was leaving was actually more like 60-70%. Troy found the tool useful because it helped him better calibrate his grazier’s eye for making decisions about his grazing management.

The app, Canopeo, is green canopy cover measurement tool. Based on research conducted at Oklahoma State University, it was designed for use on multiple types of forage. It helps producers determine the percent canopy cover in real-time for measuring crop progress and making informed management decisions. The app is available free in iOS, Android, and for use in MatLab. To make full use of the app for storing your photos and information, visit the Canopeo website and create a free account.

How to Use the App

1. Download the Canopeo App and create your account.

2. Take a downward-facing photo of the vegetative canopy using your mobile device.
For best results keep the lens at least 0.6 m (2 ft) from the top of the canopy.

3. In the second screen, compare the color image with the processed image to see whether the default settings are capturing the green pixels properly.
In the second screen, compare the color image with the processed image to see whether the default settings are capturing the green pixels properly. In the processed image, the white pixels should match the green pixels in the original image. If you think that slight adjustments are needed to match the images, simply move the adjustments slider to correct the processed image. Typically the default settings provide accurate canopy cover estimates.

4. Add notes for the image such as crop type, planting date, vegetation height, and more before uploading the images with the associated data to your personal account.
Canopeo enables you to add notes associated with each image and upload images to your account so that you can easily review and share the information gathered in the field from your office or at home at anytime. Canopeo automatically records the geographic coordinates and the current date and time so that you always know when and where each image was taken.

5. From a web browser, sign in into your account and review your images, search for a particular image, or view all your images on a map.
Any existing images in your photo roll can also be accessed through Canopeo to calculate the percent canopy cover.

Having spent plenty of time in pastures and on rangelands measuring cover along transects with point and line interecepts, and in plots counting plants, this seems like a great option. I hope it helps On Pasture readers too!

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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

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