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JECAM | Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring

Canada South Nation Watershed

Project Overview

  1. Monitor the South Nation Watershed in eastern Ontario Canada to augment capacity to estimate crop production properties expressed through: LAI, biomass and vegetation indices. This will require both optical and SAR satellite data acquisitions in conjunction with rigorous ground truthing activities, and geospatial yield monitoring information over corn, soybean, wheat and forage fields.
  2. Use EO derived productivity indicators to

Project Reports

2015 Site Progress Report

2014 Site Progress Report

Kross, A., Lapen, D., McNairn, H., Sunohara, M., & Champagne, C. (under review). Crop response to controlled tile drainage under varying weather conditions in eastern Ontario, Canada. Agriculture Water management.

Angela Kross, Heather McNairn, David lapen, Mark Sunohara, Catherine Champagne (2014). Assessment of RapidEye vegetation indices for estimation of leaf area index and biomass in corn and soybean crops. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation.
(http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2014.08.002).

McNairn, H., Kross, A., Lapen, D.R., Caves, R., and Shang, J. (2014). Early Season Monitoring of Corn and Soybeans with TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT-2. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 28, pp. 252-259. doi : 10.1016/j.jag.2013.12.015.
(http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2013.12.015).


Implementation Plans

  1. Monitor the South Nation Watershed in eastern Ontario Canada to augment capacity to estimate crop production properties expressed through: LAI, biomass and vegetation indices. This will require both optical and SAR satellite data acquisitions in conjunction with rigorous ground truthing activities, and geospatial yield monitoring information over corn, soybean, wheat and forage fields.
  2. Use EO derived productivity indicators to

This JECAM site is being used as a test bed for the use of SAR sensors for crop identification and crop area estimation.

As well, optical and SAR data are being collected to determine if these sensors are capable of measuring crop condition and crop stress in response to controlled drainage practices.


Site Description

Locations

South Nation Watershed
Site Extent   Centroid: 45.332, -75.050
Top left: 45.416, -75.214 Bottom Right: 45.249, -74.886

WEBs Sub-Watershed
Site Extent   Centroid: 45.265, -75.176
Top left: 45.268, -75.214 Bottom Right: 45.248, -75.142

Location:

The overall extent of the South Nation watershed is approximately 3,900 km², with a centroid at coordinates 45º 11’ 53.4”N, 75º 15’ 39.6”W . Nestled within the greater watershed are two smaller study basins of focused study and research, namely WEBs (centroid of 45º 15’ 49.1”N, 75º 10’ 41.9”W,  approximately) and Casselman.

Drainage:

WEBs (Watershed evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices) comprises a sub-‘tileshed’ (tile drained watershed) area of approximately 950 hectares.  Mean field sizes within the WEBs basin are 4.75 hectares, with the largest reaching over 24 hectares.

Crop calendar and Agriculture methods:

Livestock and cash crops in the watershed consist of corn, soybean, wheat (Triticum spp.), and forages. Field crop rotations can vary. For cropland without hay planting, crop rotations following a three year sequence: cereals-corn-soybean, can be found. Cropland with hay planting can be found to have a six year cycle: cereals-corn-soybean, and the following three years in hay. However, rotations can be heavily impacted by market conditions, and repetitive sequences of crops have been observed (for example corn).

Farms located within the WEBs basin are generally dedicated to dairy production. Manure spreading is normally done in either late summer or early fall. Conventional tillage, which is the dominant tillage practice in the study area, typically consists of spring cultivation and fall ploughing.

Just less than 50% of the WEBs study area receives liquid or solid bovine manure as a fertilizer amendment in spring and/or fall. Chemical fertilizer application rate varies according to the type of crop grown.

Climate and Weather:

Situated in a cool temperate humid continental climate in eastern Ontario Canada, mean yearly air temperatures are approximately 6.2ºC, total yearly precipitation is approximately 963 mm, and total yearly rainfalls are approximately 771 mm (Environment Canada, Government of Canada, 1971-2000 normals).

Soils:

Dominant soils at the WEBs site are Bainsville silt loams, characterized by layered silt and fine sand, overlying clayey deposits, with poor natural drainage. The lower hydraulic conductivity clayey soils lay beneath top soils at approximately 1.0–1.5m depth.

Topography:

Local slope of the study area is generally <1%.

Figure 1: South Nation Watershed JECAM Site


Specific Project Objectives & Deliverables

The original project objectives have not changed. This JECAM site is being used as a test bed for the use of SAR sensors for crop identification and crop area estimation. As well, optical and SAR data are being collected to determine if these sensors are capable of measuring crop condition and crop stress in response to controlled tile drainage (CTD) practices. Research on soil moisture using SAR is conducted in an area within the South Nation Watershed, that is adjacent to the area used for intense biophysical measurements in the Little Castor sub-watershed.


In Situ Observations

  1. Parameter: leaf area index (LAI), reflectance, crop height, phenology and plant biomass
    Data Collection Protocol:

    hemispherical photos, Cropscan, taken at weekly intervals, five permanent soil moisture monitoring stations, weather stations as well as field collected measurements of leaf chemistry and soil carbon flux

    Frequency:

EO Data Requirements

Approximate Start Date of Acquisition: May 1, May shift slightly from one year to next due to changes in moisture/temperatures
Approximate End Date of Acquisition: October 1, May shift slightly from one year to next due to changes in moisture/temperatures
Spatial Resolution: 20 m (min), <5 m (preferred)
Temporal Frequency: Every week
Latency of Data Delivery: weekly
Wavelengths Required: B,G,R,NIR, (red edge and SWIR if available)
Across Swath: 100 km, Cover entire South Nation Watershed
Along Track: 100 km, Cover entire South Nation Watershed

SAR Data Requirements

Approximate Start Date of Acquisition: May 1, May shift slightly from one year to next due to changes in moisture/temperatures
Approximate End Date of Acquisition: October 1, May shift slightly from one year to next due to changes in moisture/temperatures
Spatial Resolution: 10 m (min), < 3 m (preferred), Requires higher resolution due to SAR speckle
Temporal Frequency: weekly
Latency of Data Delivery: weekly
Wavelengths Required: X, C and L , Require higher frequencies for lower biomass crop identification and lower frequencies for larger biomass crops
Polarization Dual (VV,VH) (min), polarimetric (preferred)
Incidence Angle Restrictions: No restriction
Across Track: 100 km
Along Track: 100 km

Locations

South Nation Watershed

Centroid
Latitude: 45.332
Longitude: -75.050

Site Extent
Top left
Latitude: 45.416
Longitude: -75.050
Bottom Right
Latitude: 45.249
Longitude: -74.886

WEBs Sub-Watershed

Centroid
Latitude: 45.265
Longitude: -75.176

Site Extent
Top left
Latitude: 45.268
Longitude: -75.176
Bottom Right
Latitude: 45.248
Longitude: -75.142


Optical Sensors

LISS-3
Imaging Mode: Multi-spectral
Spatial Resolution: 23.5 m
Acquisition Frequency: Weekly
Pre-Processing Level: Radiometrically Corrected and Geo-coded
Application:

LISS-4
Imaging Mode: Multi-spectral
Spatial Resolution: 5.8 m
Acquisition Frequency: Weekly
Pre-Processing Level: Radiometrically Corrected and Geo-coded
Application:

WorldView2
Imaging Mode: Multi-spectral
Spatial Resolution: 2 m
Acquisition Frequency: Once per week
Pre-Processing Level: Radiometrically Corrected and Geo-coded
Application:

RapidEye
Imaging Mode: Multi-spectral
Spatial Resolution: 6.5 m
Acquisition Frequency: Once per week
Pre-Processing Level: Radiometrically Corrected and Geo-coded
Application:

SPOT-4/5
Imaging Mode: Multi-spectral
Spatial Resolution: 10-20 m
Acquisition Frequency: Weekly
Pre-Processing Level: Radiometrically Corrected and Geo-coded
Application:

JECAM | Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring | Group on Earth Observation

©2013 Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring © HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF CANADA SA MAJESTE LA REINE DU CHEF DU CANADA (2012)