Soil cover of Canada’s cropland and the use of Earth observation products


Liu, J., Huffman, T. 2017. Soil cover of Canada’s cropland and the use of Earth observation products. 2017 International Conference on Agro-Geoinformatics. Fairfax, VA, USA. August 7-10, 2017.


Agricultural soils covered by vegetation, crop residues and snow are less susceptible to degradation processes. As one of the indicators to report the status and trends of agri-environmental conditions in response to climate and agricultural activities, the Soil Cover indicator was developed at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to reveal the equivalent number of days that a soil is covered in a year. Many of the inputs of the indicator are derived at a large spatial scale from long term climate data and census data that are only available once every five years. However soil cover state is changing constantly. In order to capture the near-real-time status, dynamic mapping of soil cover is increasingly needed. This paper first presents the use of the model for soil cover status reporting in a given spatial unit, followed by the assessment of the potential and methods of using remote sensing products as alternative data source to derive inputs of the indicator. Our study shows that the use of near-real-time Earth observation data would bring better spatial representativeness and temporal responsiveness to agri-environmental condition assessment

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