Vol. 4, No. 1, 1-8, 2005

Use of very high resolution imagery in the control of area based subsidies with remote sensing
Birger Faurholt Pedersen

As a part of the reform of the European Union's common agricultural policy (CAP), a control of the applications for subsidy was introduced in 1992, concerning at least 5% of all the applications for area based subsidy. The European Union found that remote sensing was an efficient tool to perform part of the control. This control now acts as the primary control of the applications for subsidy in most of the member states, demonstrating a strong benefit from the remote sensing data. With the recent development of commercial Very High-Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, the benefit has been increased.

The task in the remote sensing controls is to verify the areas and crops that the applying farmers are declaring. To benefit from remote sensing data, the applications that are subject for controls are selected in sites slightly smaller than Spot-scenes (radius 25 km). The controlled applications are classified "rejected" or "accepted". The rejected applications are subject to further controls on the spot. The new VHR imagery allows smaller sites. In 2003, EU opened up for tests of the feasibility of these new image sources.

This paper describes the method and results of a test carried out by Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences on a regular 11 km · 11 km QuickBird scene acquired in July 2003 and on an EROS scene from late May 2003. The test showed that the use of recent EROS and Quickbird imagery might give an advantage, because it allows more precise digitising and better compliance with the EU rules than archive orthophotos, because of frequent changes in land use. Panchromatic Quickbird images from May seem to give the most precise digitisation. The test also showed that there would be a large benefit in the controls if the Quickbird images would be available for the controls, when used operationally. Due to the timing schedule, the test was performed after the 2003 controls had finished.

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Submitted: 25 May 2004
Revised: 30 November 2004
Accepted: 30 November 2004

Pedersen B F, 2005. Use of very high resolution imagery in the control of area based subsidies with remote sensing. EARSeL eProceedings, 4(1), 1-8


EARSeL European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories, Strasbourg, France


BIS Library and Information System, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg


ISSN 1729-3782