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Oral presentation on “Use of Sentinel-2 images for monitoring an industrial tomato crop field in central Italy

Current climate change projections made by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) suggest an increase in frequency and extent of climate extremes. In Mediterranean Basin, and therefore in Tuscany, one of the main challenges is related to minimizing drought and heat wave impacts while increasing environmental resilience (from agricultural production to natural resources conservation, water in particular). In the last few years the availability of satellite images at high spatial and temporal resolution, joint to improved computation capacity, increased the interest towards the development of integrated systems for monitoring water resources and vegetation growth of different agricultural species. In this context, IBIMET-CNR and LaMMA Consortium promoted a research activity in a tomato field situated in Roselle (Grosseto), Central Italy, during the 2018 growing season. This species was selected because tomato is largely cultivated in Italy, following both traditional and biologic principles and it is an irrigated crop with high water requirements. The objective of the experiment is to set a monitoring system able to support an efficient irrigation management and to monitor the growth and production of tomatoes, integrating remote sensing information and field measurements. To complete the required local dataset, a fully equipped agrometeorological station was installed in the pilot site, together with ten probes, placed at different soil depths, able to measure the soil water content on hourly basis during the whole crop growing season. Sentinel-2 images (10 m resolution) are routinely downloaded and processed for the computation of vegetation indices, which are used to follow tomato’s water requirements and as input into a crop growth and yield model. The effectiveness of the management support methodology was evaluated comparing the performance of the integrated system acting to optimise the watering dose of a single irrigation line with the rest of the tomato field, managed by traditional criteria. The current presentation is focused on the methodological framework of the experiment and on the first results obtained.

Angeli L.2, Battista P.1, Chiesi M.1, Magno R.1,2, Materassi A.1, Pieri M.1,2, Rapi B.1, Romani M.1, Sabatini F.1, Maselli F.1

1IBIMET – CNR (Institute of Biometeorology of the National Research Council).
2LaMMA – Environmental modelling and monitoring laboratory for sustainable development.

Presentation (PDF)