The EGF2021 Symposium, hosted by Universität Kassel, was held last week (17-19 May). With a special focus on sensing technologies, it addressed three main themes closely related to objectives of the SUPER-G project; “Biomass and quality characteristics”, “Biodiversity and other ecosystem services” and “Management and decision support”. The participants discussed results and provided insights on the latest advances in remote sensing applied to the study and management of grassland using UAVs, proximal sensing, and satellite technologies. It was highlighted in several sessions that the potential for radar technology has probably been “underestimated” and needs further development and implementation. The consideration of scale is of special importance when monitoring grassland vegetation in order to capture the heterogeneity and processes occurring at different levels.
Short communications and posters presented studies that demonstrated the potential of sensing technologies to improve and inform the management of grasslands at the farm level and for policies development and monitoring. Efforts need to be focused on facilitating the implementation of these technologies in practical grassland farming, for which farmers seem to prefer low-tech options. This topic was addressed in the last plenary session “The role of remote sensing in practical grassland farming” in which Stuart Green listed SUPER-G as one of the projects gathering available tools for management and decision support in grasslands.
Also during the symposium Jesús Fernández-Habas (University of Cordoba) gave an oral presentation on the “Potential of Sentinel-2 and optimal hyperspectral configuration to assess forage quality in permanent grasslands of open woodlands” and Gabriele Mack (Agroscope) presented a poster on the “Effects of innovative management options on perennial grassland in the mountain area of Switzerland”. During the three days, the objectives of SUPER-G and the work being developed by SUPER-G partners were mentioned as important “further steps”, which provides confidence that SUPER-G is on track to make a valuable contribution to validating remote sensing technologies for grassland science and practice.
To learn more about the EGF2021 Symposium go to: https://www.uni-kassel.de/tagung-konferenz/egf-2021/home