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Sen2Grass: A Cloud-Based Solution to Generate Field-Specific Grassland Information Derived from Sentinel-2 Imagery

Published on
March 31, 2021

An article of Tom Hardy, Lammert Kooistra, Marston Domingues Franceschini, Sebastiaan Richter, Erwin Vonk, Gé van den Eertwegh and Dion van Deijl: Sen2Grass: A Cloud-Based Solution to Generate Field-Specific Grassland Information Derived from Sentinel-2 Imagery, has been published in AgriEngineering.

doi:10.3390/agriengineering3010008

Abstract
Grasslands are important for their ecological values and for agricultural activities such as livestock production worldwide. Efficient grassland management is vital to these values and activities, and remote sensing technologies are increasingly being used to characterize the spatiotemporal variation of grasslands to support those management practices. For this study, Sentinel-2 satellite imagery was used as an input to develop an open-source and automated monitoring system (Sen2Grass) to gain field-specific grassland information on the national and regional level for any given time range as of January 2016. This system was implemented in a cloud-computing platform (StellaSpark Nexus) designed to process large geospatial data streams from a variety of sources and was tested for a number of parcels from the Haus Riswick experimental farm in Germany. Despite outliers due to fluctuating weather conditions, vegetation index time series suggested four distinct growing cycles per growing season. Established relationships between vegetation indices and grassland yield showed poor to moderate positive trends, implying that vegetation indices could be a potential predictor for grassland biomass and chlorophyll content. However, the inclusion of larger and additional datasets such as Sentinel-1 imagery could be beneficial to developing more robust prediction models and for automatic detection of mowing events for grasslands.

Keywords: sen2grass; sentinel-2; stellaspark; nexus; grassland monitoring; time series; vegetation indices; cloud cover