Remote Sensing – Beyond Images workshop, abstracts and presentations

Remote Sensing Workshop

Date: 14-15 December 2013

Venue: Palace Sevilla Hotel

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Event sponsors: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), CGIAR research Program on Maize, the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) and the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro).


“There are no miracles in agricultural production.”

Norman Borlaug, Nobel prize winner and founding father of CIMMYT.

Demand for food is ever increasing, while limited natural resources such as land, water and nutrients are becoming scarcer. Climate change poses new challenges for many crop production systems.

While in the past, remote sensing has been applied as a tool for diagnostics, users now want simple recommendations that are tailored to their needs. The aim of this workshop was to cross this chasm and focus on remote sensing applications for farmers, crop advisors, plant breeders, policy makers and last but not least, researchers.

Read the full summary here

Download book of abstracts: 

Presentations in running order: 

(links to Slideshare, see bottom of page for citation instructions)

Saturday, 14 December

Welcome – Session chairs Maria Tattaris and Urs Schulthess

9:05  Opening address by T. Lumpkin (CIMMYT, Mexico)


User’s needs and expectations – Session chair P. Kosina

9:20  Donors and policymakers by S. Wood (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

9:30  Approaches and needs of remote sensing in phenotyping for plant breeding by M. Cossani and M.P. Reynolds (CIMMYT, Mexico)

9:40  Irrigation scheme managers by E. Mejia (ANEI, Mexico)

9:50  Remote sensing of wheat rusts – a dream or reality? by D. Hodson (CIMMYT, Ethiopia)

10:00  Precision agriculture for smallholder farmers: an option? by B.Gérard, J. Hellin, B. Govaerts, A. McDonald and T. Krupnik (CIMMYT)


Use Cases – Session chair P. Kosina

10:30  Introduction by S. Wood (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)


Sensors and Products – Session chair P. Kosina

10:45  Stress detection using fluorescence, narrowband spectral indices and thermal imagery acquired from manned and unmanned aerial vehicles by P. Zarco Tejada (Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain)

11:00  Radar’s Potential to Estimate Crop Bio-Physical Parameters and Beyond by J.Shang, H.McNairn, C. Champagne and X. Jiao (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada)

11:15  Challenges of UAV platforms by L.A.C. Jorge (EMBRAPA, Brasil)

11:30  MODIS vegetation indices by R. Solano-Barajas (Universidad de Colima, Mexico)

11:45  Optical and microwave remote sensing for crop monitoring in Mexico by J. Soria-Ruiz and Y. Fernández-Ordoñez (INIFAP and COLPOS, Mexico)


Session A: Nutrient and water management & disease monitoring – Session chair U. Schulthess

13:15  Water management from the water shed to the field level by S. Maas and N. Rajan (Texas A&M University System, USA)

13:30  Daily evapotranspiration by combining remote sensing with ground observations: study from Maricopa, Arizona USA by A. French and D. Hunsaker (USDA/ARS, USA)

13:45  Agronomy in the context of conservation agriculture: nutrient management by E. Miller and W. Raun (Oklahoma State University, USA)

14:00  From GreenSeeker to GreenSat in irrigated wheat in Mexico by I. Ortiz-Monasterio, U. Schulthess, B. Govaerts and C. Dobler (CIMMYT and SIAP Mexico)

14:30  Delivering information products to small-scale farmers: IRRI’s experience with the Crop Manager by R. Buresh (IRRI, Philippines)

14:45  Data and information delivery: Digilab 2.0 and Apps by BASF by E. Fernandez, L.M. Ramos and M. Taylor (BASF Agro, Mexico)

15:00  Diagnosis monitoring in wheat through hyper-spectral remotely sensed data by P. Chávez-Dulanto, P.K. Singh, M.P. Reynolds and C. Yarlequé (CIMMYT, Mexico and CIP, Peru)


Session B: Crop Production Estimation – Session chair J. Cairns

13:15  Spatiotemporal data mining framework for biomass monitoring at scale by R. Vatsavai and B. Bhaduri (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)

13:30  Empirical EO based approach to wheat yield forecasting within major export countries and potential adaptation to smallholder systems by I. Becker-Reshef, J. Dempewolf, C. Justice, M. Lindeman and E. Vermote (University of Maryland, NASA Godard Space Flight Center and USDA-ARS, USA)

13:45  Forecasting wheat yield and production for Punjab Province, Pakistan from satellite image time series by J. Dempewolf, I. Becker-Reshef, B. Adusei, M. Hansen, P. Potapov , B. Barker and C. Justice (University of Maryland, USA)

14:00  Monitoring current rice production areas and assessing the potential for development by S.J. Zwart (Africa Rice, Benin)

14:15  Agricultural statistics of roots and tubers by P. Zorogastúa, R. Quiroz, M. Potts and S. Schultz (CIP and UNALM, Peru)

14:30  Crops yield estimation through remote sensing by V.M Rodriguez-Moreno (INIFAP, Mexico)

14:45   Global yield assessment with a dynamic vegetation and water balance model by K. Waha (PIK, Germany)

15:00  Scalable yield gap analysis by D.B. Lobell (Stanford University, USA)


Image providers – Session chair P. Chavez

17:00  DigitalGlobe by K. Navalur (IDigitalGlobe, USA)

17:15  Skybox imaging by J. Clark (Skybox Imaging, USA)

17:25  BlackBridge solutions for agriculture by H.B. Valdez and L.Z. Gutierrez (BITS, Mexico)

17:35  Hyperspectral imaging in remote sensing applications: using the SOC710-GX and SOC716 to collect hyperspectral data from an airborne platform by M. Zemlan (Surface Optics Corporation, USA)

17:45  ERMEX by J. Aguilar Lara (SIAP, Mexico)

17:55  The global earth observation system of systems – remote sensing and in-situ resources by S. Camacho (Regional Center for Space Science and Technology Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico)


Sunday, 15 December

Session A: Phenotyping – Session chair F. Rodrigues

8:00  Affordable field high-throughput phenotyping – some tips by J.L Araus, A. Elazab, J. Bort, M.D. Serret and J. Cairns (University of Barcelona, Spain and CIMMYT, Zimbabwe)

8:15  Measuring and mapping canopy traits from the lab to the field – the potential of optical remote sensing for crop phenotyping by U. Rascher, F. Pinto and A. Schickling (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany)

8:30  Remote sensing for field phenotyping at CIMMYT by M. Tattaris, M. Zaman-Allah, M.P. Reynolds and J. Cairns (CIMMYT, Mexico and Zimbabwe)

8:45  Field-based phenomics in rice: remote sensing methods for analysing morpho-physiological traits under different water and nitrogen regimes by M.G. Selvaraj, M.O Valencia, S. Ogawa, H. Naito  and M. Ishitani, Y. Urano, F. Hosoi, Y. Shimizy and K. Omasa (CIAT, Colombia and the University of Tokyo, Japan)

9:00  New remote and proximal sensing methodologies in high throughput field phenotyping by J. Jimenez-Berni, D. Deery, X. Sirault and R. Furbank (CSIRO High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre, Australia)

9:15  PlantScreenTM new phenotyping platform for the lab and field by S. Hunt, N. Trtilek and K. Simkova (Qubit Systems, Canada and Photon Systems Instruments, Czech Republic)

9:30  Estimating wheat root biomass using ground penetrating radar by  S. M. Thompson, A. Delgado, A.M.H. Ibrahim, R.E. Lacey, D.B. Hays, R.E. Mason,  C.M. Cossani, M.P. Reynolds and  R.A. Washington-Allen (Texas A&M University System, University of Arkansas and University of Tennessee, USA and CIMMYT, Mexico)

9:45  Investigation of water flow dynamics through the xylem using synchrotron x-ray imaging by H.K. Kim, J.H. Park, S.S. Ahn, S.J. Lee and I. Hwang (CIMMYT, Ethiopia and POSTECH, South Korea)

10:00  Remote sensing based drought tolerant maize targeting in SSA by K. Sonder (CIMMYT, Mexico)


Session B: MODIS – Session chair U. Schulthess

8:00  Monitoring biomass dynamics at scale: emerging trends and recent successes by B. Bhaduri, R. Vatsavai and E. Bright (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)

8:20  Increasing access to terrestrial ecology and remote sensing (MODIS) data through web services and visualization tools by S.K.S. Vannan, R.B. Cook (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)


Session B: Land use planning and monitoring – Session chair I. Ortiz-Monasterio

9:00  Land health surveillance by K.D. Shepherd, E. Betemariam and M.G. Walsh (ICRAF, Kenya and Colombia University, USA)

9:15  Case study from Bangladesh by U. Schulthess, T. Krupnik and A. McDonald (CIMMYT, Bangladesh)

9:30  The REDD+ satellite based land cover monitoring system for Mexico by S. Gebhardt, M. Schmidt and R. Ressl (CONABIO, Mexico)

9:45  Estimating crop biomass in smallholder fields with very high resolution imagery by P.S. Traore, S.S. Traore, K. Goita, W.M. Bostick and J. Koo (ICRISAT)

10:20  Remote sensing based soil moisture detection by S. Shafian and S. Maas (Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University System, USA)

10:35  Remote sensing for assessing crop residue cover and soil tillage intensity by C.S.T. Daughtry, P.C. Beeson, E.R. Hunt and A.M. Sadeghi (USDA-ARS, USA)


Session A: Spatial data analysis and delivery – Session chair M. Tattaris

13:15  Merging data sources – proximal to remote sensing by F.A. Rodrigues and J.A. Burgueño-Ferreira (CIMMYT, Mexico)

13:30  Various methods of field data collection and spatial analysis by A. Melnitchouck (IntelMax Corp, Canada)

13:45  A national network of automated agrometeorological stations in Mexico: weather and climate forecasts by M. Gonzalez, A. Corrales, L. González and M. Narvaez (INIFAP, Mexico)


Session B: Crop Insurance – Session chair B. Gérard

13:15  Agricultural index insurance through remote sensing: experiences from East Africa by L. Johnson (Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Kenya)

13:30  Remote sensing products in support of crop subsidies in Mexico by C. Dobler (SIAP, Mexico)

13:45  Remote sensing technology for crop insurance – applications and limitations by J. Herbold (Munich Re, Germany)


Panel discussion – Session chair Philippa Zamora

16:15  The challenges of delivering information and services to end users

16:45  Feedback from the users

17:00  Closing note


How to cite presentations: Surname, Initial. 2013. Title of presentation [PowerPoint slides]. Presentation at workshop, Remote Sensing: Beyond Images, 14-15 December, Mexico City. Retrieved from: [website address] (date last accessed).

e.g. Cossani, C.M., and Reynolds, M.P. 2013. Approaches and the needs of remote sensing in phenotyping for plant breeding [PowerPoint slides]. Presentation at workshop, Remote Sensing: Beyond Images, 14-15 December, Mexico City. Retrieved from: (13/1/2013).


List of Acronyms

Africa Rice – Africa Rice Center
ANEI – Asociación Nacional de Especialistas en Irrigación A.C.
BMGF – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
BITS – Bufete de Ingeniería en Telecomunicaciones y Sistemas
CIAT – International Center for Tropical Agriculture
CIMMYT – International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
CIP – International Potato Center
CONABIO – Comisión nacional para el conocimiento y uso de la bioversidad
CRECTEALC – Centro Regional de Enseñanza de Ciencia y Tecnología del Espacio para
América Latina y el Caribe
CSIRO – Commonwealth Scientific arid Industrial Research Organisation
EMBRAPA – Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária
Federecafe – National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers
IAS – Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible
ICRAF – World Agroforestry Centre
ICRISAT – International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
INIFAP – Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias
IRRI – International Rice Research Institute
ORNL – Oak Ridge National Laboratory
SAGARPA – Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación
SIAP – Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera
SFSA – Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture
USDA-ARS – U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service

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