The aim of this project was to address how new ‘greening’ rules can be met through the use of Earth observation. These new greening rules will become part of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), set to replace the current Single Payment Scheme (SPS) from 2015 onwards. These criteria, being based essentially on defined areas of crops, land cover and habitats on the ground, lend themselves to an evaluation and control through remote sensing and Earth observation. The project had four main work packages:
Four business areas were identified where increased use of EO and related products could add value, see table 1 below:
There is potential to substantially reduce financial penalties (“disallowance”) from the EC by dealing with any known weaknesses in Control with Remote Sensing (CwRS), physical inspections or LPIS. The total potential avoided cost of additional inspections resulting from increased use of EO data and techniques (which will counter the complexity of controlling new CAP ‘greening’ rules by CwRS) is estimated to be approximately between £400,000/year under the current inspection set up for BPS
A roadmap (see figure below) was created to illustrate the way in which differing types of EO data can be used to support a range of RPA business processes.
Immediate benefit would be from the use of additional and/or more current imagery, in areas where EO data is already used, and the adoption of recently developed image analysis techniques and approaches.
For some work areas, short-term pre-operational technical assessments of the potential value of EO are recommended to evidence the value of EO data and approaches prior to deployment. These proof of concept studies can make use of existing satellite imagery (e.g. from the CwRS zones) or free satellite imagery, such as Landsat and Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 imagery.