Observing Sucrose Accumulation With Sentinel-1 Backscatter

Nadja den Besten*, Susan Steele-Dunne, Benjamin Aouizerats, Ariel Zajdband, Richard de Jeu, Pieter van der Zaag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
159 Downloads (Pure)


In this study the impact of sucrose accumulation in Sentinel-1 backscatter observations is presented and compared to Planet optical observations. Sugarcane yield data from a sugarcane plantation in Xinavane, Mozambique are used for this study. The database contains sugarcane yield of 387 fields over two seasons (2018-2019 and 2019-2020). The relation between sugarcane yield and Sentinel-1 VV and VH backscatter observation is analyzed by using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data as derived from Planet Scope optical imagery as a benchmark. The different satellite observations were compared over time to sugarcane yield to understand how the relation between the observations and yield evolves during the growing season. A negative correlation between yield and Cross Ratio (CR) from Sentinel-1 backscatter was found while a positive correlation between yield and Planet NDVI was observed. An additional modeling study on the dielectric properties of the crop revealed how the CR could be affected by sucrose accumulation during the growing season and supported the opposite correlations. The results shows CR contains information on sucrose content in the sugarcane plant. This sets a basis for further development of sucrose monitoring and prediction using a combination of radar and optical imagery.
Original languageEnglish
Article number778691
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • cross ratio
  • sucrose accumulation
  • sugarcane
  • sentinel-1
  • yield prediction
  • planet NDVI
  • dielectric properties


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