General description

Instituto Tecnologico Agrario de Castilla y Leon (ITACyL) was created as a public body under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of the Regional Government of Castle and León (Spain) in the year 2002. Castile and León is a vast region of 94,000 km2 where farming represents an important economy asset. The main activity of the Institute is focused on the technological development of the food and agriculture sector through research, innovation and the transfer of scientific advances by means of collaboration with public and private organizations.

ITACyL has over 150 research staff of Scientifics and technicians working at different knowledge areas providing technical support to the regional government and the farming sector.

Within ITACyL, the Infrastructure department is focused in providing services to the government, companies and farmers founded on the use of geo-technologies. All the services have a strong component of innovation and are based in applied research. These are some examples of services provided:

• CAP Paying agency support: The department, provides services and software development to the regional Paying Agency related to the maintenance of the Land-Parcel Identification System and IACS On the Spot Checks.

• Satellite Navigation Real Time Kinematic service based on a 50 GNSS base station network ( The ITACyL provides GPS and GLONASS corrections up to centimetre level all over the Region. The service is open to the public. The majority of the users belong to the agricultural sector. Many farmers use auto guidance and other precision farming tools based on ITACyL network.

• Remote sensing: ITACyL processes systematically Sentinel images in order to produce every year a regional land cover map with crop identification at field level (Integrated with LPIS). The product is a general purpose layer with multiples uses related to the control of CAP subsidies, Irrigated areas and crop rotations. The regional environment department also collaborates in the projects because the layer also covers natural classes and is quite useful for Environmental monitoring. The layer is available from 2011 and is updated every year.

Agricultural extension services: ITACyL provides extension services to the farmers based mainly in data procesing using ICT and precision farming. There is a Yield forecasting bulletin based on crop modelling and statistical post processing over a 2 km grid, an Irrigation Advisory Service based in FAO56 methodology and a soil information system based in Digital Soil Mapping techniques.


Role in the project

ITACyL will provide a link between the developments made within the project and the real needs of a paying agency. ITACyL is involved in WP2 in the outscaling of results of Use Cases.


Key persons involved

David A. Nafría (m) is the head of the department of Geographical Information and Innovation. Has more than 15 year of experiences in the fields of applied remote sensing and GIS. His main works are related to the use of geo-technologies at wide scale within the government of Castilla y León.

He has a very innovative profile, focusing always in applying research activities into the real word and extending the results to a wide territory. He also has a strong background in agro-meteorology and soil science. He is member of several working groups related to the use of remote sensing and meteorological data within the government of Spain. He holds a MSc in Agronomy.

Francisco Javier Rojo Revilla (m) is the head of the LPIS and IACS supporting department. He has a long experience in cadastral mapping at different levels and expertise managing large geographical databases.

He is the person in charge of all the aspects relates to the use of geo-technologies within the Castile and León Paying Agency.

Vanessa Paredes Gómez (f) has a PhD in Sciences and a specialist degree in Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and GPS applied to the management of the territory. Previously, she did MCs in Environmental Sciences and her PhD focused on the atmosphere-biosphere interactions using eddy covariance technique and remote sensing data to study CO2 fluxes and determinate the source-sink behaviour of an agroecosystem. This education and her participation in various scientific projects (national and international) providing her a solid scientific background mainly in environmental issues. Her current activities involve the exploitation of satellite image for land cover mapping using machine learning techniques.


Relevant publications

• David A. Nafría, Vicente del Blanco, José L. Bengoa. Castile and Leon Crops and Natural Land Map. European Space Agency Worldcover conference. 14-16 March 2017 Frascati (Italy).

• Vanessa Pareces, Vicente del Blanco , José L. Bengoa David A. Nafría. ACCURACY ASSESSMENT OF A 122 CLASSES LAND COVER MAP BASED ON SENTINEL-2, LANDSAT 8 AND DEIMOS-1 IMAGES AND ANCILLARY DATA. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium Valencia, Spain 2018.