Monitoring of the Common Agricultural Policy, crop inventory, mapping of hedges, monitoring changes in surface areas of prairies, etc.
Managing the CAP
Since 1993, SIRS has been monitoring the Common Agricultural Policy for European institutions and national governments. Satellite image sequence analysis of cropping seasons is used, in particular, to assess compliance with agri-environmental standards.
SIRS has also contributed to development of the ‘Graphical Field Registry’ agricultural land registration system in France and Luxembourg.
SIRS also undertakes crop inventory independently of the CAP.
Applications are both agricultural, such as crop predictions, and environmental: for example, determining the dominant crops and their locations allows communities to deduce the type of inputs being used and to create incentives to protect drinking-water catchment areas. Another example is the inventory of mixed woodland and pasture areas.
In arid areas, an understanding of agricultural practices, and hence of irrigation, can lead to the implementation of policies that incentivise water conservation. Example: the SHIVA project in India.
Another agricultural application is land-use mapping. Interpretation of aerial and satellite data allows cereal crops to be distinguished from orchards, vineyards, meadows, etc. If greater detail is required, crop types can even be differentiated.