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Early Detection of Summer Crops Using High Spatial Resolution Optical Image Time Series

Early Detection of Summer Crops Using High Spatial Resolution Optical Image Time Series

Remote Sensing 8(7): 591

In the context of climate change, agricultural managers have the imperative to combine sufficient productivity with durability of the resources. Many studies have shown the interest of recent satellite missions as suitable tools for agricultural surveys. Nevertheless, they are not predictive methods. A system able to detect summer crops as early as possible is important in order to obtain valuable information for a better water management strategy. The detection of summer crops before the beginning of the irrigation period is therefore our objective. The study area is located near Toulouse (southwestern France), and is a region of mixed farming with a wide variety of irrigated and non-irrigated crops. Using the reference data for the years concerned, a set of fixed thresholds are applied to a vegetation index (the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI) for each agricultural season of multi-spectral satellite optical imagery acquired at decametric spatial resolutions from 2006 to 2013. The performance (i.e., accuracy) is contrasted according to the agricultural practices, the development states of the different crops and the number of acquisition dates (one to three in the results presented here). The detection of summer crops reaches 64% to 88% with a single date, 80% to 88% with two dates and 90% to 99% with three dates. The robustness of this method is tested for several years (showing an impact of meteorological conditions on the actual choice of images), several sensors and several resolutions.

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Accession: 066319335

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DOI: 10.3390/rs8070591

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