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Seasonal and annual variations of sugarcane within-field variability, as observed in spot time series

Bégué A., Pater J., Todoroff P.. 2007. In : 27th EARSeL Symposium Geoinformation in Europe, 4-7 June 2007, Bolzano, Italy. s.l. : s.n., 6 p.. EARSeL Symposium. 27, 2007-06-04/2007-06-07, Bolzano (Italie).

At the field scale, crop spatial variability is related to multiple factors that are time-dependant. In this paper, we analyzed the within-field variability of a sugarcane crop at two different time-scales, season and year, and try to relate this variability to cropping and environmental factors. A series of fifteen SPOT4 and SPOTS images were acquired in 2002 and 2003 over Gardel sugarcane estate in the French West Indies (Guadeloupe). The study was focused on a 6.5 ha field of rainfed sugarcane. The fifteen images of the field were individually classified using an equal count algorithm in order to enhance spatial patterns independently of the crop growth. At the season scale, the inside-field growth pattern depends on the phenological stage of the crop and the cropping operations. At the year scale, NDVI maps around the peak of vegetation reveals a stable pattern for 2002 and 2003, despite very different rainfall amounts, but with inverse NDVI values. This inversion can be directly linked to the topography, and consequently to the water conditions of the plant. Through that example, we concluded that the pattern of vigor occurrence within fields can help to diagnose growth anomalies.

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