Originally created in 1962, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a cornerstone of the European Union (EU) which consists of a system of subsidies designed to support the European agricultural sector. The CAP makes up 33% of the total EU budget – the largest share – with €58 billion allocated towards it in 2021. The policy looks to strengthen the EU agricultural economy and improve productivity across 174 million agricultural hectares.
Since 2018, the CAP has been working on an ongoing modernizing and greening process, aligning with the EU Green Deal to help tackle climate change by supporting sustainable management practices and adopting digital technologies and remote sensing solutions to support monitoring. National authorities responsible for implementing this transformation in EU Member States have initially relied on Sentinel-2 data for farm Checks by Monitoring procedures, a process to check farmers’ fulfillment of the requirements set forth for area-based payments. However, the resolution and cadence of data from Sentinel-2 poses limitations for monitoring smaller fields and narrow parcels, which account for 5-10% of CAP-eligible hectares, with reliable time-series data. Additionally, cloud cover frequently obscures timely observation of some key agricultural events. With missing data, it is impossible for 100% of all declared land parcels to be properly analyzed, causing national authorities in Europe to face administrative challenges.
To support these organizations’ work within the CAP, Planet has brought our Fusion product to the market in an early release. Fusion distills observations from multiple satellites, including both our PlanetScope constellation and Sentinel-2, into a unified, stable, and richly informative dataset. With daily 3 meter resolution imagery, Fusion Monitoring is radiometrically consistent and offers clean data (i.e. free from clouds and shadows) which is ideal for such time series analyses and machine learning pipelines. This integrated data stream complements Sentinel data and helps reveal and monitor smaller land parcels within the CAP. These unparalleled capabilities offer insights and analysis-ready data to national paying agencies and their CAP partners.
Planet Fusion’s 3 meter resolution makes small parcel monitoring possible on a daily cadence. Imagery captured by Sentinel-2 and Planet outside of Odranci, Slovenia.
In the 2021 growing season, Planet is proud to have partnered with Sinergise, a geospatial information provider based in Slovenia, to deliver a powerful end-to-end solution for the Slovenian National Paying Agency (ARSKTRP). Due to the complex and small size of the average land parcel in Slovenia, nearly a quarter of the land parcels were too narrow to be evaluated by Sentinel-2 data streams. For example, Sentinel’s resolution proved insufficient for detecting farming activity on permanent grasslands and extensive orchards. Likewise, cloud cover often obscured the timely observation of events like mowing.
Because Fusion data is harmonized to Sentinel-2, Sinergise and ARSKTRP could apply Planet data to the Checks by Monitoring process they had already developed with only minor fine-tuning. Fusion’s cleaner, more complete data drives higher accuracy in time series analysis and modeling, in machine learning applications developed by ARSKTRP, and Sinergise’s tools for monitoring and compliance. Fusion Monitoring supplies data that is dependable and analysis-ready, greatly reducing the burden of image processing workflows. To learn more about how Sinergise offered Fusion capabilities to the Slovenian National Paying Agency for Checks by Monitoring procedures, read here.
Join Planet and our trusted partner Sinergise for a live joint webinar on Feb 17th to learn how the Slovenian National Paying Agency has benefited from using Fusion. Register here.