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Cotton Acreage Estimation Using Remote Sensing Techniques


The major objectives are to  :

  • Give pre harvest Tahsil / District wise acreage estimation using sample segment /  complete area enumeration approach
  • Condition assessment  of crops using Vegetation Index (VI)
  • Production forecasting using spectral and meteorological models
  • Link with resources management activities by monitoring crop type of the region.



Crop Acreage and Production Estimation (CAPE) project is most successful Remote Sensing Applications Mission (RSAM) initiated in 1986 as a joint venture between Department of Space (DOS) and Ministry of Agriculture & Textile. The mission has reached its maturity and is operational in all the states of India covering dominant crops of the region. Maharashtra Remote Sensing Applications Centre (MRSAC) has been participating in the CAPE mission since 1993-94 to forecast pre-harvest acreage and production estimation of cotton in 18 districts. Studies carried out in Maharashtra have graduated from IRS 1A/1B LISS II of 36 m resolution through IRS 1C/1D LISS III of 23.5 m resolution to IRS P6 LISS III and AWiFS sensors, thus providing reliable and timely results. Under this mission eighteen districts of Maharashtra namely; Nagpur, Wardha, Chandrapur, Akola, Amravati, Yeotmal, Washim, Buldana, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Parbhani, Hingoli, Jalna, Nanded and Beed are selected for  cotton acreage and production estimation.         

            Since cotton is a well-established commodity for domestic and international trade and also being a dominant cash crop of Maharashtra,  due attention is paid to its pre-harvest acreage and production estimates by  a number of trading bodies, private as well as government corporations, which is an important input in decision making on procurement, pricing policy planning and export programme of the country.

Satellite Data: In season satellite data of IRS P6, LISS-III have been used for the study. Acreage enumeration using AWiFS  and LISS-IV data have also been attempted at places.



The digital analysis is carried out using customized software CAPEMAN developed by SAC, Ahmedabad.  Selected sample segments are extracted from full scene of LISS II / III / AWiFS and joined together to form a synthetic image in order to reduce the volume of data for further processing. This mosaic is subjected to maximum likelihood classification based on the real time ground truth data. The segment-wise area statistics is generated for district-wise acreage aggregation. Presently, complete area enumeration approach is being adopted, after successful demonstration of results obtained by this approach. Further, district wise map so prepared by complete area enumeration approach would also be useful for other requirements of the State Agriculture Department.


Since cotton is a well established commodity for domestic and international trade, a number of trading bodies, private as well as  corporations, have considerable stake in cotton estimates. Pre-harvest acreage and yield forecasting, therefore, are very significant in  formulating purchase, pricing and export policies. Users of the project are:

  1. State Department of Agriculture, Maharashtra
  2. Ministry of Textile, Govt. of India
  3. Cotton Federation, Govt. of Maharashtra.
Quantum of work: 
Project Photographs: 
Cotton Acreage And Production Estimation