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Project details

ARCADIA SIT is a partner in a European consortium for the supply of GIS and remote sensing services, within the framework of the Desis framework contract. The project is developed by CCR – IPSC – Institute for the protection and safety of citizens / MARS – Monitoring of agricultural resources. Development and implementation, since 1992, of a system for forecasting agricultural crops in Europe.
The system provides annual European-wide crop estimates by monitoring crop growth and vegetation analysis of short-term weather effects. The geographical area covered is continental Europe and West Africa at a sub-regional level.

The input data used are:

  • Scientific publications
  • Raster images from the following systems: MODIS – TERRA, SPOT-VEGETATION, MSG – SEVIRI, METOP – AVHRR
  • Raster and vector files in the Corine Land Cover land cover / land use pane
  • Meteorological data
  • Agronomic data
  • Modeled agronomic and agro-meteorological indicators
  • Statistical data and reports
  • Monthly bulletin of European forecasts
  • Commission reports on the agricultural model

The AGRI4CAST project organizes various types of geographic information and data in a huge database:

  • Meteorological data
  • Land use
  • Pedological data
  • Statistical data on agricultural production

For EU countries, information is collected and organized to provide forecast models for different types of agricultural production. From this information, variable-sized vector grids are generated which are necessary to create an EU-wide coverage that summarizes the input and output data.

The information underlying the AGRI4CAST project is managed and processed with ArcGIS Desktop for the analysis phases that involve the intersection between the various vector maps: CorineLand Cover, soil map, agricultural production data, weather, etc. These elaborations aim to identify homogeneous areas for production potential, also by combining information on previous productions.
The information is transposed onto regular grids of different sizes to calculate the indicators and then provide input data to the predictive models.
Each phase of the process consists of an .mxd file (ArcGIS) that characterizes the graphic representation of the input themes and the results of the various procedural phases of data processing.
ArcGIS projects are designed for printing and for representing statistics.

The development of infrastructures and information systems (INSPIRE, SEIS, GEOSS, G M ES, RSDI) aims at sharing environmental observations, information and analytical models and promoting interoperability and setting standards.

The data analyzes produced for each EU country are made with ArcGIS Model Builder it is effective for the possibility of establishing schematic procedures that connect geoprocessing tools within a procedural flow of spatial analysis of information, producing new levels or classifying existing ones. The Model Builder was used in the project intensively for different types of activities such as:

  • verification of the completeness of the descriptive information
  • verification of the spatial coverage of information
  • verification of geometric and topological precision

And for information analysis and scenario production activities:

  • correlation of the different information according to the position
  • calculation of indicators

The activities are based on experience in crop modeling, agro-meteorology, sampling methods, environmental geo-spatial analyzes, econometrics and the use of European and global data infrastructures. From this skill set, evidence-based information and forecasts are generated for managing agricultural practices and food safety warnings.
The project promotes the development of control systems, such as parcel management and remote sensing controls, for efficient implementation of the common agricultural policy, including “greening” aspects. We carry out assessments on the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and sustainability of policy measures based on their impact on the rural environment and on food security, this includes the issue of adaptation to climate change and possible mitigation, by cross-referencing data input with GIS, data mining and ad-hoc routines, to analyze data and produce:

  • Continental-scale image analysis of vegetation indicators such as fAPAR (Gobron and Cyclops methods) and NDVI on agricultural land and pastures
  • Analysis of weather, agronomic and agro-meteorological indicators
  • Identification of the analysis of the main agro-phenological events
  • Behavioral analysis of vegetation indicators and statistical data
  • Derivation of yield forecasts for the main crops in Europe

In this project, various quality checks are carried out on the quality of the input data and on the perimeter of the burnt areas produced. These procedures have been implemented in the advanced ArcGIS Desktop environment through the Model builder and extensive use of Python scripts and geo-processing libraries. Perform further tests, the correspondence between the territorial elements and the statistical data of the estimates. The check concerns the geometric consistency (spike, undershoot, overshoot), topological (overlap) and the population of the attribute tables. Before loading into the database datasets the forest fires and the correspondence of these with the areas taken from the images are checked.

AGRI4CAST investigates the impacts on agricultural yield levels with model simulations based on BioMA and constrained by selected climate change scenarios, focusing on short- and medium-term time horizons (e.g. 2020, 2050). AGRI4CAST’s climate change activities also explore regional vulnerabilities in agricultural production and the effects of selected adaptation strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The project promotes culture-related policies and specific attention to new measures that promote biodiversity, environmental quality and resource efficiency, in order to support the CAP and the European Commission’s climate change policy agenda. Studies are underway within the AGRI4CAST project, assessing the impact of climate change on agricultural crops in Europe, identifying vulnerabilities and resilience of agricultural production systems in a range of climate change scenarios and assessing the various measures to mitigate the identified impacts.


Joint Research Centre ISPRA - EU COMMISSION

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