Pre-crop Values From Satellite Images for Various Previous and Subsequent Crop Combinations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Pirjo Peltonen-Sainio
  • Lauri Jauhiainen
  • Eija Honkavaara
  • Samantha Wittke

  • Mika Karjalainen
  • Eetu Puttonen

Research units

  • Luke Natural Resources Institute Finland
  • National Land Survey of Finland


Monocultural land use challenges sustainability of agriculture. Pre-crop value indicates the benefits of a previous crop for a subsequent crop in crop sequencing and facilitates diversification of agricultural systems. Traditional field experiments are resource intensive and evaluate pre-crop values only for a limited number of previous and subsequent crops. We developed a dynamic method based on Sentinel-2 derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values to estimate pre-crop values on a field parcel scale. The NDVI-values were compared to the region specific 90th percentile of each crop and year and thereby, an NDVI-gap was determined. The NDVI-gaps for each subsequent crop in the case of monocultural crop sequencing were compared to that for other previous crops in rotation and thereby, pre-crop values for a high number of previous and subsequent crop combinations were estimated. The pre-crop values ranged from +16% to -16%. Especially grain legumes and rapeseed were valuable as pre-crops, which is well in line with results from field experiments. Such data on pre-crop values can be updated and expanded every year. For the first time, a high number of previous and following crop combinations, originating from farmer's fields, is available to support diversification of currently monocultural crop sequencing patterns in agriculture.


Original languageEnglish
Article number462
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • crop rotation, crop sequencing, NDVI, pre-crop effect, remote sensing, Sentinel-2, CANOPY DEVELOPMENT, FARMING SYSTEM, GRAIN LEGUMES, BREAK CROPS, ROTATIONS, YIELDS, MANAGEMENT, CULTIVARS, SEQUENCE, GROWTH, Crop sequencing, Remote sensing, Pre-crop effect, Crop rotation

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