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Within the Directorate-General VI (Agriculture and Fisheries) of the European Commission, there is am active interest in both current near-real time monitoring of the state of specific crops (inc. cereals) for the whole Europeen Union. This interest is likely to be developed further. Over the last 7 years the MARS project of the JRC has been operationallly providing estimates dirived from both remotely sensed data and large scale crop growth monitoring systems. As noted, by the launching and succesful completion of teo DG-VI driven initiatives, specifically aimed at the use of ERS SAR data for early rapid estimates of agriculture crop areas, there is also the need for both earlier and more acurrate estimations of specific agriculture cover types. In this paper we investigate the development of a methodology leading to the optimal identification of cereals at a pan-Europeen level, focusing upon accurate differentation of cereal types along with precize area estimation primarily targeted at an images based level. Here we focus upon a number of MARS Activity B sites within the EU 15 that are representative of the main cereal producing areas.Therefore we not only have access to current imagery (SAR and optical) and ancillary datasets, but also the vast historical datasets of the MARS archive. In the development of this methodology a number of important issues are addressed and reinforced with dedicated investigations. These investigations address the some of the main aspects in multi-temporal crop monitoring using multi-source RS imagery. These include, the use of crop growth models for the optimization of RS data acquizition calenders, image stratification prior to classification using pedological and topological information, data fusion techniques for synergistic use of SAR and optical imagery, the role of agronomic information, crop growth modelling, and back scatter modeling for the re-enforcement of ground observations in cereal identification.

Additional information

Authors: KIDD R, SAI Ispra (IT);LEMOINE G, SAI Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Earth Observation Quarterly, Special Edition, 1998,
Record Number: 199910358 / Last updated on: 1999-03-12
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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