2015 – Near Real Time monitoring of rice season

During 2015, ERMES partners worked provide to end-users information suitable for monitoring the rice crop growing season. This was achieved by creating periodic maps of several parameters which influence rice growth (e.g., meteo data, risk for rice blast infection), and of other parameters directly related to crop biomass (e.g., Leaf Area Index maps). 

These maps were made available through the ERMES Regional geoportal, which allows to visualize both the maps related to different dates, and to compare the temporal trend of the different parameters for the current year to the average of the 2003-2014 period. Strong differences between the current year values for a given date and the average values may indicate either an anomaly in growth conditions (e.g., anticipated or delayed development due to meteo conditions), or a change in the kind of crop cultivated in the area.


These kind of products provide regional ERMES users with useful tools to analyze the on-going rice season, allowing to highlight anomalous conditions. Within ERMES, they are also used as inputs to drive the regional modelling solutions aimed at risk alerting and regional yield forecasting.

In particular, the following products were made available:

Rice Crop Maps

  • Maps of rice cultivated area at 30 m spatial resolution, derived from analysis of radar (Sentinel 1) and optical (Landsat 8 OLI) imagery.

These maps provide an indication of the area cultivated at rice for the current season.

Products related with plant status

  • Weekly NDVI maps derived from MODIS satellite imagery, at 250 m resolution.
  • Weekly Leaf Area Index maps derived from MODISand Proba-V satellite imagery, at 2 km resolution.

Maps and graphs related to these products provide an indication of rice development and are strongly related to plant total biomass.

Products related with meteorological conditions and forecast

  • Daily maps at 2×2 km resolution derived from ECMWF meteorological datasets of the following meteorological variables which influence rice development: Maximum and Minimum Daily Temperature, Maximum and Minimum Relative Humidity, Daily Global Radiation, Daily Rainfall, Average Daily Windspeed.
  • 6-days forecasts for the aforementioned variables.

Maps and graphs related to these products provide information on meteorological conditions of the current growing season.

Products related with agropractices and phenological development

  • Maps at 2×2 km resolution showing estimates of rice crop establishment (~Sowing date), crop emergenge and heading dates, derived from analysis of MODIS satellite images.

Values reported for each 2×2 km cell correspond to the average crop establishment, crop emergence and heading dates estimated for rice pixels located within the cell.

Products related with Biotic risks

  • Daily Maps at 2×2 km resolution produced using the WARM rice crop simulation model, related to the presence of favourable meteorological conditions for rice blast infection.
  • 6-days forecasts for the aforementioned maps

Maps and graphs related to these products provide information regarding the potential risk of infection by rice blast in the different areas, due to favorable meteorological conditions for development of the pest.