EU Crop Map 2018 - SAR/LUCAS


Represented classes

Artificial area

Common wheat

Durum wheat 







Other cereals 


Sugar beets 

Other non permanent industrial crops


Rape and turnip rape


Dry pulses, vegetables and flowers

Other fodder crops (excl. temp. grasslands

Bare arable land

Woodland and shrubland type of vegetation

Grassland (permanent and temporary)

Bare land and lichens/moss



Detailed parcel-level crop type mapping for the whole European Union (EU) is necessary for the evaluation of agricultural policies. The Copernicus program, and Sentinel-1 (S1) in particular, offers the opportunity to monitor agricultural land at a continental scale and in a timely manner. However, so far the potential of S1 has not been explored at such a scale. Capitalizing on the unique LUCAS 2018 Copernicus in-situ survey, we present the first continental crop type map at 10 m spatial resolution for the EU based on S1A and S1B Synthetic Aperture Radar observations for the year 2018. Random Forest classification algorithms are tuned to detect 19 different crop types. We assess the accuracy of this EU crop map with three approaches. First, the accuracy is assessed with independent LUCAS core in-situ observations over the continent. Second, an accuracy assessment is done specifically for main crop types from farmers declarations from 6 EU member countries or regions totaling >3 M parcels and 8.21 Mha. Finally, the crop areas derived by classification are compared to the subnational (NUTS 2) area statistics reported by Eurostat. The overall accuracy for the map is reported as 80.3% when grouping main crop classes and 76% when considering all 19 crop type classes separately. Highest accuracies are obtained for rape and turnip rape with user and produced accuracies higher than 96%. The correlation between the remotely sensed estimated and Eurostat reported crop area ranges from 0.93 (potatoes) to 0.99 (rape and turnip rape). Finally, we discuss how the framework presented here can underpin the operational delivery of in-season high-resolution based crop mapping. 

Joint Research Center (JRC) 


First 10-m crop type map for the European Union for 19 crop types.

Sentinel-1 VV and VH best-captured crop type and used in random forest algorithms.

Training with 58,178 LUCAS Copernicus in-situ polygons or 296,889 10-m pixels.

Validation with farmers’ declarations from >3 M parcels and total area of 8.21 Mha.

Framework built and assessed for in-season crop mapping and statistical applications.

Spatial resolution 

Global coverage

10 m spatial resolution 

Temporal resolution

Period of observation: