The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-8
28 Nov 2014
 | 28 Nov 2014

Deriving crop calendar using NDVI time-series

J. H. Patel and M. P. Oza

Keywords: Agriculture, Analysis, Detection, Semi-automation, Temporal, Method

Abstract. Agricultural intensification is defined in terms as cropping intensity, which is the numbers of crops (single, double and triple) per year in a unit cropland area. Information about crop calendar (i.e. number of crops in a parcel of land and their planting & harvesting dates and date of peak vegetative stage) is essential for proper management of agriculture. Remote sensing sensors provide a regular, consistent and reliable measurement of vegetation response at various growth stages of crop. Therefore it is ideally suited for monitoring purpose. The spectral response of vegetation, as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and its profiles, can provide a new dimension for describing vegetation growth cycle. The analysis based on values of NDVI at regular time interval provides useful information about various crop growth stages and performance of crop in a season. However, the NDVI data series has considerable amount of local fluctuation in time domain and needs to be smoothed so that dominant seasonal behavior is enhanced. Based on temporal analysis of smoothed NDVI series, it is possible to extract number of crop cycles per year and their crop calendar.

In the present study, a methodology is developed to extract key elements of crop growth cycle (i.e. number of crops per year and their planting – peak - harvesting dates). This is illustrated by analysing MODIS-NDVI data series of one agricultural year (from June 2012 to May 2013) over Gujarat. Such an analysis is very useful for analysing dynamics of kharif and rabi crops.