From regional to parcel scale: A high-resolution map of cover crops across Europe combining satellite data with statistical surveys - Réseau télédétection INRAE Access content directly
Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2023

From regional to parcel scale: A high-resolution map of cover crops across Europe combining satellite data with statistical surveys

Abstract

The reformed Common Agricultural Policy of 2023–2027 aims to promote a more sustainable and fair agricultural system in the European Union. Among the proposed measures, the incentivized adoption of cover crops to cover the soil during winter provides numerous benefits such as improved soil structure and reduced nutrient leaching and erosion. Despite this recognized importance, the availability of spatial data on cover crops is scarce. The increasing availability of field parcel declarations in the European Union has not yet filled this data gap due to its insufficient information content, limited public availability and a lack of standardization at continental scale. At present, the best information available is regionally aggregated survey data, which although indicative, hinders the development of spatially accurate studies. In this work, we propose a statistical model relating Sentinel-1 data to the existence of cover crops at the 100-m spatial resolution over the entirety of the European Union and United Kingdom and estimate its parameters using the spatially aggregated survey data. To validate the method in a spatially-explicit way, predictions were compared against farmers' registered declarations in France, where the adoption of cover crops is widespread. The results indicate a good agreement between predictions and parcel-level data. When interpreted as a binary classifier, the model yielded an Area Under the Curve (AUC) of 0.74 for the whole country. When the country was divided into five regions for the evaluation of regional biases, the AUC values were 0.77, 0.75, 0.74, 0.70, and 0.65 for the North, Center, West, East, and South regions respectively. Despite limitations such as the lack of data for validation outside France, and the non-standardized nomenclature for cover crops among Member States, this work constitutes the first effort to obtain a relevant cover crop map at a European scale for researchers and practitioners.
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Dates and versions

hal-04010832 , version 1 (03-03-2023)

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Arthur Fendrich, Francis Matthews, Elise van Eynde, Marco Carozzi, Zheyuan Li, et al.. From regional to parcel scale: A high-resolution map of cover crops across Europe combining satellite data with statistical surveys. Science of the Total Environment, 2023, 873, pp.162300. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162300⟩. ⟨hal-04010832⟩
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