Crop Monitoring and Yield Estimation from Space

EO AFRICA R&D Facility Online Course

Crop Monitoring and Yield Estimation from Space

Introduction to the course

The ever-increasing spatial resolution offered by the newest generation of satellite sensors allow us to monitor agricultural production at the scale of an individual parcel and to quantitatively estimate or predict productivity.

This course will provide/present participants with:

  • the most relevant data sources and data analysis techniques related to parcel-based crop monitoring and crop yield estimation.
  • knowledge on the primary plant function “photosynthesis” with the aim to better understand the role of evaporation, plus various qualitative and quantitative means to assess how lack of evaporation may impede a crop’s ability to convert CO2 and H20 into carbohydrates.
  • Practical assignments to use FPAR and ETA to quantitatively assess crop production.

Mode of Delivery

The course consists of videos, PowerPoints, quizzes, and practical exercises, supplemented by reading material and reference materials. All materials will be offered through the Moodle Cloud learning platform. Participants are expected to digest the training materials independently by themselves (i.e., no live teaching is foreseen). Interaction with the teaching staff will be possible through a series of dedicated live feedback sessions (hosted through Zoom) and a Q&A forum.


The participants are expected to have a basic knowledge on Earth Observation, Python programming and the use of cloud environments for EO image processing. All these can be acquired by attending the first two online courses of the EOAfrica series (OC 1: Cloud Computing and Algorithms for EO Analyses; OC 2: Principles of and advances in Earth Observation). Access to both courses will be given to those selected to attend this online course. Note that this course complements OC 5 (Hyper-Temporal Mapping of Agro-Ecosystems & Assessing Land Suitability). Although having participated in that course is certainly an advantage, candidates are not expected to have attended this course.


The course will be offered to a maximum of 65 participants. Selection will be based on relevant academic background and employment. Only applicants working for an African-based organization are eligible. We will strive to have a gender-balanced and country-balanced group of participants. Preference is given to candidates working as (Ph.D.-) researchers, post-doc, and university staff. Selection will be made two weeks before the course starts to provide early access to prerequisite online courses on Cloud computing and EO.


The course will span over 4 weeks with a daily study-load of 2 hours – 10 hours a week.