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Successful demonstration of using Sentinel 1 & 2 in support of Common Agricultural Policy in Denmark

(07 April 2017) DHI GRAS successfully demonstrated the integrated use of the new Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 satellites for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Denmark.

DHI GRAS has recently completed a pilot study together with the Danish Agrifish Agency on the integration of Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 data within the field of grass mowing and catch crop monitoring. Based on the analysis of Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2’s time series data coupled with in situ data, we demonstrated how the timing of grass mowing can be detected using optical as well as SAR satellite data. The pilot project was supported by the Danish Agrifish Agency;

‘At Danish Agrifish Agency, we are very excited and optimistic about the increased opportunities that come with the Sentinel satellites. The possibilities for using EO data within the agricultural control are significantly increased and combined with the use of state-of-the-art methods and complex processing the applications are promising’,
– Sanne Eskesen, Project Manager at Danish Agrifish Agency

Within the control of catch crops, the timing of ploughing is relevant for the Paying Agencies. DHI GRAS demonstrated during autumn 2016 how Sentinel 1 data can be analysed to detect ploughing and the timing of ploughing in Denmark.

A continuation of the 2016 activities in close cooperation with the Danish authorities are ongoing, as DHI GRAS recently won a competitive ITT for nationwide CAP control in Denmark. This work is now moving on to demonstrate how the coupling of Sentinel 1/ Sentinel 2 / Landsat 8 data and machine learning algorithms can map crop types and screen for homogeneity within field parcels. The results of the crop classification will be used operationally as part of the control procedure in 2017. During autumn 2017, the work will continue with monitoring of catch crop as well as monitoring of agricultural practices such as harvesting and ploughing.

Time series of Sentinel 2A satellite imagery covering agricultural areas of Denmark.
© DHI GRAS, European Space Agency – ESA