Satellite-based detection of sowing dates in field crops

Y. Sadeh, X. Zhu, K. Chenu, D. Dunkerley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Sowing dates affect the environmental conditions that plants will experience during their lifetime and thus greatly influence yields. This paper presents a newly developed innovative, semi-automated method to detect sowing of crops on no-till fields using high spatio-temporal resolution CubeSat satellites. This method succeeded in identifying the actual sowing dates of individual fields with an RMSE of 0.9 and 1.9 days in a set of 16 national trial fields and in 50 fields of a commercial farm, respectively. The method is robust and can be applied over a wide range of soil types, atmospheric conditions, crop types and sensors, to detect sowing dates even at sub-field scales. It opens avenue to improve satellite-based yield prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrecision Agriculture 2019
Subtitle of host publicationPapers Presented at the 12th European Conference on Precision Agriculture, ECPA 2019
EditorsJohn V. Stafford
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868889
ISBN (Print)9789086863372
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2019
EventEuropean Conference on Precision Agriculture 2019 - Montpellier, France
Duration: 8 Jul 201911 Jul 2019
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Precision Agriculture 2019
Abbreviated titleECPA 2019
OtherThe French organisers are pleased to welcome the return of the ECPA conference to France and to Montpellier. The conference will continue with the successful format of previous conferences of building in strong industry sessions and participation. Taking advantage of the location of Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast, this 2019 edition will be an opportunity to focus on precision farming applied to small Mediterranean farms. Of course, oral and poster presentations will be welcomed from authors on any precision agriculture topic, though particularly welcome on the list of topics shown in the Programme section. All prospective authors and presenters should view the ‘Key Dates’ section to ensure they can meet the deadlines.
Internet address


  • CubeSats
  • Farming management
  • Planting dates
  • Satellite images
  • Sowing dates

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