Earth Observation for Farm Scale Carbon Accounts

A process to use Digital Earth Australia to support the assessment of Farm-scale Natural Capital Accounts.

The Challenge

The Farm-scale Natural Capital Accounts project developed accounts for farmers that collate data about the natural assets on a farm, such as the soil, native vegetation, pastures, crops and water resources. This project aimed to create standardised, data driven information on whether management practices are building, maintaining or depleting natural capital.  


The La Trobe University Farm-scale Natural Capital Accounts Project. 

The Solution

The work used Australia’s Open Data Cube (ODC), Digital Earth Australia (DEA), to extract useful information about natural assets efficiently for farms anywhere in Australia. Importantly, the developed method uses historic satellite data to measure change and can be repeated into the future. The solution: 

  1. Developed algorithms using the DEA Sandbox to monitor natural assets at paddock scale 
  2. Reported on confidence levels of metrics, including impact of data availability 
  3. Developed a roadmap to create an API for access via project application(s) 
  4. Developed documentation and provided training and hand over to the Farm-scale Natural Capital Accounting Project team 

The Farm-scale Natural Capital Accounting project addresses a critical gap in the promotion of sustainable farm practices. The accounts will provide farmers with verifiable information about the natural capital on their farm such as soil, vegetation, and biodiversity. Farmers can use the accounts to improve their management of natural capital and farm performance. 


Contact us at to find out more.