Wang, Y; Peng, DL; Yu, L; Zhang, YQ; Yin, J; Zhou, LL; Zheng, SJ; Wang, FM; Li, CJ (2020). Monitoring Crop Growth During the Period of the Rapid Spread of COVID-19 in China by Remote Sensing. IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATIONS AND REMOTE SENSING, 13, 6195-6205.

The status of crop growth under the influence of COVID-19 is an important information for evaluating the current food security in China. This article used the cloud computing platform of Google Earth Engine, to access and analyze Sentinel-2, MODIS, and other multisource remote sensing data in the last five years to monitor the growth of crops in China, especially in Hubei province, during the period of the rapid spread of COVID-19 (i.e., from late January to mid-March 2020), and compared with the growth over the same period under similar climate conditions in the past four years. We further analyzed the indirect effects of COVID-19 on crop growth. The results showed that: the area of the crops with better growth (51%) was much more than that with worse growth (22%); the crops with better and worse growth were mainly distributed in the North China Plain (the main planting areas of winter wheat in China) and the South China regions (such as Guangxi, Guangdong province), respectively. The area of the crops with a similar growth occupied 27%. In Hubei province, the area of the crops with better growth (61%) was also more than that with worse growth (27%). It was found that there was no obvious effect from COVID-19 on the overall growth of crops in China during the period from late January to mid-March 2020 and the growth of crops was much better than that during the same period in previous years. The findings in this study are helpful in evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 on Chinas agriculture, which are conducive to serve the relevant agricultural policy formulation and to ensure food security.