Published March 17, 2023 | Version v2
Dataset Open

In-situ crop phenology dataset from sites in Bulgaria and France

  • 1. Space Research and Technology Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. Georgi Bonchev bl.1, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2. CESBIO, Université de Toulouse, CNES/CNRS/INRAE/IRD/UPS, Toulouse, France
  • 3. Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
  • 4. Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
  • 5. Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 6. Image Processing Laboratory (IPL), Parc Cientific, Universitat de Valencia, 46980 Paterna, Spain
  • 7. Image Processing Laboratory (IPL), Parc Cientific, Universitat de Valencia, 46980 Paterna, Spain and Mantle Labs GmbH, Vienna, Austria
  • 8. Crop Science, Institute for Agricultural Science, ETH Zurich, Universitatsstrasse 2, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland and Earth Observation of Agroecosystems Team, Devision Agroecology and Environment, Agroscope, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8042 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 9. Department of Applied Mathematics, Universidad de Alicante, Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig s/n 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig - Alicante, Spain
  • 10. Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Solvegatan 12, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden
  • 11. Forest Research Centre (CEF) and Associated Laboratory TERRA, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal


Site description

The in-situ crop phenology stages dataset was collected from Bulgarian and French sites for major European crops. Each selected field is described by its precise location and shape.

In Bulgaria, seventeen production crop fields were selected: Oborishte (P0 and P3), Gurkovo (P01 and P13), Trigorci (P02), General Kiselovo (P1 and P2), Dobrich (P4 and P18), Mirovci (P14), Neofit Rilski (P15), Boyana (P17) and Gurkovo (P19, P20, P22, P23, P24) in the Northeast part of the Danube plain.  Winter rapeseed and wheat were grown in the selected sites. The cultivation follows a crop rotation schema, but the collected in-situ phenology data was from one growing season only per field. The sites are characterized by mostly flat terrain and a moderate continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. The annual cumulative precipitation is 540 mm, and the mean annual temperature is 10.2˚C. The soil has mainly a sandy loam texture.

In France, two research fields were selected: Lamasquère (FR-Aur) and Auradé (FR-Lam). The FR-Aur crop site is part of a grain farm located in a hilly area where winter wheat – rapeseed – barley – sunflower crop rotation is used. The FR-Lam site is located in a plain where a winter wheat – irrigated maize crop rotation is practiced. Winter cover crops (faba bean, white mustard) were sometimes introduced on both sites between a winter crop and a summer crop. During the selected time frame all mentioned crop species were cultivated. The climate is temperate with Mediterranean and oceanic influences, with mild winters, rainy springs, and high temperatures over the summer with low rainfall, followed by sunny autumns.  The mean annual rainfall over the past 24 years was 617 ± 101 mm and the mean annual temperature was 13.7 ± 0.6 °C on both sites (Beziat et al. 2009, Tallec et al. 2022). According to the textural triangle of Malterre and Alabert (1963), the soil of the FR-Lam site has mainly clay, silt, and sand and FR-Aur is silt, clay, and sand.


Crop phenology measurements

The Start of the Season (SOS) is represented by a specific phenophase that corresponds to the BBCH10-13 distinguishable phenology stage and the End of the Season (EOS) by the Harvest date.

In Bulgaria, crop data (Sowing, Phenophase, and Harvest date) from all fields were collected by visual observations in the field, written in a paper notebook, and subsequently passed to a Microsoft Excel file. The available data for each field is one season and some fields don't have the corresponding phenophase or harvest date.

In France, crop data (Sowing and Harvest date) from both fields were collected through visual observation on site, identical to the Bulgaria sites. The phenophase date was determined by visual observations on site and with PhenoCam picture and/or digital photo camera picture analysis. The unique exception is the Lamasquére site in the 2017/2018 and 2019/2020 seasons where the phenophase date was collected through visual observations on site. The available data for both fields have numerous crop seasons.


File description

The “1_senseco_data_insitu_crop_phenology_Bulgaria_France.txt” concerns all crop phenology measurements (sowing, harvest, and phenophase date) and related information. The “2_senseco_metadata_insitu_crop_phenology_Bulgaria_France.txt” describes all the variables from “1_senseco_data_insitu_crop_phenology_Bulgaria_France.txt”. The "" contains all the photos from the French sites.  The "" contains all the georeferenced shape files from each crop plot and the "georeference_CSV_comma" contains all the georeferenced shape files in an open format. See the file "metadata_geojson_csv.txt" with support data for the georeferenced files.



Beziat, P., Ceschia, E., Dedieu, G., 2009. Carbon balance of a three crop succession over two cropland sites in South West France. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149, 1628–1645.

Malterre, H. and Alabert, M. : Nouvelles observations au sujet d’un mode rationnel de classement des textures des sols et des roches meubles - pratique de l’interprétation des analyses physiques, Bulletin de l’AFES 2, 76-84, 1963.

Tallec, T., Bigaignon, L., Delon, C., Brut, A., Ceschia, E., Mordelet, P., Zawilski, B., Granouillac, F., Claverie, N., Fieuzal, R., Lemaire, B., Le Dantec, V., 2022. Dynamics of nitrous oxide emissions from two cropping systems in southwestern France over 5 years: Cross impact analysis of heterogeneous agricultural practices and local climate variability. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 323, 109093.



This research was supported by the Action CA17134 SENSECO (Optical synergies for spatiotemporal sensing of scalable ecophysiological traits) funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology,, accessed on March 17, 2023).


Additional information on French sites:;;



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