Chesapeake Bay Agriculture & Food Security III

Imagery displaying Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values calculated from 2018 Landsat 8 OLI data and cropped to a subset of Eastern Maryland bordering the Chesapeake Bay. Black areas correspond to regions of low vegetation density, red to medium vegetation density, and yellow to high vegetation density. Within agricultural regions, low NDVI may indicate areas in which local stakeholders could commit additional resources. Water has been replaced with a stylized cover crop image (green).

Quantifying Wintertime Agricultural Land Use and Springtime Management of Winter Cover Crops using Landsat and Sentinel to Support Environmental Conservation in Maryland

Cover crops enrich soils, limit erosion, and reduce nutrient runoff from agricultural land. To promote their usage, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) subsidizes farmers who plant winter cover crops. In order to maximize environmental benefits, cover crops must be terminated in the spring, rather than harvested. Previous DEVELOP collaborations with the MDA used imagery from Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), and Sentinel-2 MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) to analyze various agronomic parameters which affect cover crop effectiveness. The Spring 2019 DEVELOP team continued to work with this imagery through Google Earth Engine and created a new application to remotely sense the presence of cover crops during the spring season. This tool, Cover Crop Remotely Observed Performance (CCROP3), aims to confirm that cover crops have been planted and verify the dates on which they were terminated, thereby reducing the need for the MDA to manually spot-check fields. The resulting graphical user interface (GUI) will also be used by the MDA to analyze parameters that influence cover crop effectiveness, such as cover crop type, planting date, and fertilizer usage. This GUI has the potential to promote more informed decision making and more effective conservation efforts for the Chesapeake Bay.

Project Video:
Covering Our Bayses
Maryland – Goddard
Spring 2019
Maryland Department of Agriculture, Office of Resource Conservation
USGS, Eastern Geographic Science Center
USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
US Environmental Protection Agency, Chesapeake Bay Program
NASA Earth Observations
Landsat 5 TM
Landsat 8 OLI
Sentinel-2 MSI
Benjamin Whong (Project Lead)
Bryan Eder
Julio Peredo
Callum Wayman
Jason Keppler (Maryland Department of Agriculture, Office of Resource Conservation)
Dr. W. Dean Hively (United States Geological Survey, Eastern Geographic Science Center)
Dr. Greg McCarty (United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory)
Dr. John Bolten (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)