QUANTICA Occitania

QUANTICA aims to develop a tool combining plant-soil models and remote sensing to quantify, at the plot level, the additional carbon storage induced by intermediate crops in order to better compensate farmers who engage in these practices. The tool is being co-constructed with the actors of the agricultural chain and tested in Occitania to prototype future services.

Quantifying the additional soil carbon stock allowed by intermediate cover in agriculture


Carbon storage in soils is a lever for achieving the objective of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on the nature and occupation of the land, new agricultural practices can increase this capacity, which is known as the additional storage potential. According to INRAE studies, "intermediate" crops represent 35% of the total additional storage potential.

The quantification of additional carbon storage is based on a method developed at CESBIO combining satellite observation technologies of intermediate crops and agro-environmental modeling (SAFYE-CO2 model included in the AgriCarbon-EO operational processing chain and calibrated from high resolution time series derived from satellite images). Through this process, the model is forced to reproduce the dynamics and development intensity (biomass) of intermediate crops. It also simulates the components of the carbon balance (photosynthesis, plant and soil respiration). The coupling of SAFYE-CO2 with the AMG soil model can allow (when recent soil analyses are available at the plot) to refine the calculation of additional Carbon storage induced by intermediate crops. The coupling of these models then provides an evaluation tool compatible with the Low Carbon Label methodology.

Workflow CO2

The development of the tool and the prototyping of future operational services will be based on user-centered approaches, Living Lab approach, by iterative cycles of specification / development / delivery.

With the ambition to improve the technological maturity level of the QUANTICA software and to make the design of the service chain evolve, the living lab approach relies on an interface prototyping tool that contributes to the design of 3 complementary services:

  • Collection of information provided by farmers (via API MesP@arcelles of APCA),
  • Readability and cross-referencing of the indicator at the right scale and relationship with other necessary data (or interoperability),
  • Significant interfaces for farmers in a context of valorisation of the practice: low carbon label, CAP, carbon offset market.

Application site(s)

The Occitanie region, and more specifically the departments of Gers and Tarn, with the support of the agro-ecology and digital Living Lab "OCCITANUM", including the open lab "field crops".



  • Time series of biophysical variables from Sentinel2-Landsat8-SPOT6/7 archive images provided by the Crop Analytics tool for the detection of the presence of intermediate crops and the quantification of their development level. The Crop Analytics tool, developed by AIRBUS DS, will automatically monitor in real time the dynamics of LAI (Leaf Area Index) evolution estimated by satellite. Crop Analytics automatically performs the following operations: collection of available free satellite images (Sentinel 2), cleaning of these images (clouds, etc.), calculation of biophysical variables and delivery of these variables to the plots of interest on the basis of their geolocated crop contours.


  • Data on agricultural parcels from the national Graphical Parcel Register for the purposes of modeling crop growth and identifying intercrop periods. These data, in particular the contours of agricultural parcels and the succession of crops per parcel, are provided by the Agence des Services et Paiement (ASP).
  • Data related to agricultural practices for the purpose of modeling additional carbon stored in the soil. Type of intermediate crop and date of destruction, type and quantity of carbon exported at harvest in the form of grain, straw, etc., type and quantity of organic amendments, this information is collected via the farm information systems, in this case MesP@rcelles of the National Network of Chambers of Agriculture (APCA).
  • Spatialized meteorological observations, for example from the SAFRAN database of Météo-France, for crop growth modeling purposes.
  • Data on the physico-chemical properties of the soils on the plots studied for the purposes of modeling the dynamics of organic carbon in soils (input data for the AMG model), provided by ARVALIS-Institut du Végétaland/or by the farmers themselves.


At the end of the QUANTICA project, the community will have free access, via a THEIA portal dedicated to the Carbon Footprint of field crops, to the prototype tool for quantifying the carbon storage induced by intermediate plant cover and to the dataset necessary to allow those who wish to do so to carry out tests. To this end, a methodological guide describing the coupling of biophysical variables characterizing crops and intermediate crops (satellite observations via the Crop Analytics tool) with crop growth models (SAFYE-CO2) and soil models (AMG) for the calculation of additional carbon stored by intermediate crops will be made available to stakeholders, as well as the description of the 3 types of services (specifications and prototype version of the Web interface).

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