In-situ information about agricultural crops, grasslands and agricultural practices represent the key reference datasets needed to benchmark & develop advanced image processing methods that shall provide EO products required in use cases defined within the project. Various data sources have been evaluated to provide the information on:
- crop types (including arable land and permanent crops),
- management of grasslands (with focus on mowing dates and ploughing of grasslands),
- agricultural practices (with focus on catchcrops, nitrogen fixing crops and fallow practices).
Based on the project requirements the preference was given to the information from 2016 and 2017. The following datasets have been identified and made available for the project purposes:
a) data provided by Paying Agencies
- Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS),
- data extracted from farmers subsidy applications (anonymized data, including Geo Spatial Aid Applications),
- results of Control with Remote Sensing (CwRS)
- data from on-the spot controls (including physical inspection & CwRS follow-up controls).
b) data collected during field campaigns organized within the project
Several dedicated field campaigns have been organized by project partners to collect in-situ information from 2017 within selected pilot countries.
c) data provided through interviews with farmers
Interview with cooperating farmers are carried out to get the information about grassland management within 2017 (focusing especially on grassland mowing dates).
d) data available from JECAM sites and LUCAS surveys
Existing datasets were evaluated to identify data that may support benchmarking and validation of algorithms & methods for calculation of vegetation status indicators (e.g. field measurements of biophysical variables, such us LAI, LAIeff, FAPAR or FCOVER, are available on some JECAM sites).
e) data collected through visual interpretation of satellite & aerial imagery
CAPI (Computer-Assisted Photo-Interpretation) may be applied to generate reference datasets for information that is not available from other sources (e.g. identification of crop harvest on time series of Sentinel-2 imagery).
Additional auxiliary datasets have been also collected to support the project activities:
- aerial orthophotos & VHR satellite imagery (mostly available from IACS datasets),
- Digital Elevation Model (DEM),
- description of agricultural practices & harvesting periods in selected pilot countries.