Early detection of crop stress in Tongeren, Belgium

With ever more people to feed, yield optimization in agriculture is a permanent concern for every farmer. The growing season of a crop can be many months long and during that period, the crop is at risk for damage due to weather phenomena (droughts, flooding, extreme temperatures) or diseases. This puts the crops under stress. Detecting that stress early on gives the farmer the possibility to react.

The climate crisis increases the likelihood of extreme weather, so there is a global need to monitor crops to the fullest.

Here is your challenge:

Develop a tool to detect crop stress as early as possible, based on satellite imagery and indicators derived from it.

The data available for you to use

Sentinel-2 satellite observations are available globally with a high temporal revisit rate. From these data, it is possible to derive biophysical indices that characterize the vegetation state:

  • Normalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI)
  • Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR)
  • Fraction of Green Vegetation Cover (FCOVER)
  • Leaf Area Index (LAI)

However, Sentinel-2 is an optical satellite. So, it is unable to provide information about areas that are clouded. That is why the Sentinel-1 RADAR satellite data is useful as well: it provides guaranteed observations, albeit in a different electromagnetic frequency domain.

A dataset of parcels that have suffered crop stress due to extended drought and high temperatures in the summers of 2018 and 2019 is provided. These are all available for Belgium and its surroundings via Terrascope. 

For a detailed explanation on how to retrieve and use the data, check our webinar.

Get the data filesCheck our webinar


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