Yield Prediction by Satellite

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From image to information

YPSILON® is a yield prediction service for key growing areas in Europe. It is based on the latest satellite imagery and plant growth modelling. Weekly updates of the predicted yield for wheat, rapeseed and maize are delivered from 8 weeks before harvest.

Input Data

Among others, satellite imagery, weather data, soil, topography, and agricultural statistics are used for yield forecasting


In order to deliver relevant and up-to-date forecasts, cutting edge cloud technologies are implemented in the remote sensing processing chain

Yield Forecast

Up to date satellite images and weather data are integrated into a physical crop growth model for yield prediction in tons per hectare

The main target group for the European YPSILON® service are traders and trading companies, whereas the German service as well as the custom service, with an individually selectable region, are of special interest for mills, regional trading companies, seed growing companies, biogas plant operators or agro holdings. Further information can be found in our product sheet

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Ypsilon helps us to identify deviations in advance and thus enables us to react in good time. Storage capacities and logistics are adjusted which leads to an optimization of our production chains Elisabeth Becker
By using Ypsilon’s yield forecast we identified 2018's crop failure six weeks before the rest of the market. Ypsilon helped reducing our purchasing costs significantly! CEFETRA

ypsilon® service is provided by

vista geoscience logo


Gabelsbergerstr. 51
D – 80333 Munich
+49 (89) 4521 614 0

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  • 19 EU countries
  • wheat
  • rapeseed
  • maize
Sign up now


on request  


  • states/districts
  • wheat
  • rapeseed
  • maize
Contact Us


on request  


  • 19 EU countries
  • wheat
  • rapeseed
  • maize
Contact Us


on request  


  • Custom region
  • wheat
  • rapeseed
  • barley
  • maize
Contact Us


Almost 7 percent less arable land, fallow land on the front line: this is what the war in Ukraine is doing to agriculture.

Feb 2024

Munich, February 2024 – Vista GmbH, a subsidiary of BayWa AG, is once again using state-of-the-art technology to analyze how the Russian war of aggression is affecting agricultural production in Ukraine in the second year of the war. Among other things, almost 7% of the cultivated area is no longer used for agriculture and the course of the front is clearly visible on the cultivation maps.

Vista is also analyzing how the Russian war of aggression is affecting agricultural production in Ukraine in the second year of the war. This was made possible with funding from the European Space Agency and BayWa AG, among others.

The cultivation of spring and winter barley, grain maize, rapeseed, sunflower and wheat was observed. With the help of satellite data, among other things, the Vista scientists determine which crops were grown in which region and on which area. The PROMET physical plant growth model developed by Vista allows detailed forecasts to be made on the yields of the observed fruits.

Crop data makes war zone visible

Last year, around 6.5 percent of the previously agricultural land along the front line fell out of use. Satellite images show the difference between 2021 and 2023: The images show vegetation in places where fields used to be visible. A sign that no crops are currently being grown in these places. Thus, from an agricultural perspective, the front line along which Ukrainian and Russian troops are currently facing each other becomes visible. The data and maps also show that the fields in the Russian-occupied areas are still being cultivated.

Ukraine crops frontline Agricultural use in the Zaporizhzhya oblast: The vegetation in the front area is developing, but is not used for food production.

Ukraine area without crops A green dot represents a harvested field. Last year, around 6.5 percent of the former agricultural land along the front line fell out of use.

2023 was a good harvest year on Ukrainian territory despite the lack of arable land. In total, the harvested quantity is even in line with the harvests of the pre-war years: harvests of between 75 and 100 million tons were registered from 2017 to 2021. In 2023, the harvest was around 82 million tons*.

Dam blasting affects irrigation in Kherson

In June 2023, the dam wall of the Kakhovka reservoir was blown up – most likely by Russian troops. The water from the reservoir was subsequently used to irrigate agricultural land in the Kherson oblast, among other things. A comparison of satellite images from 2021 with images from 2023 now shows that the extent of the irrigated area was 52 percent smaller. The white area in the image shows parts of the dry reservoir.

irrigated areas in Kherson oblast Comparison 2021 (dark blue) and 2023 (light blue) Number of artificially irrigated areas in Kherson oblast: Due to the dam blasting, the proportion of irrigated areas decreased by 52 percent.

* includes the production of crops calculated by Vista for the whole of Ukraine, including the Russian-controlled parts of the country excluding the Crimean peninsula

Figures contain Copernicus data.

Regionally, up to 17 percent crop losses in winter wheat in Germany forcasted.

Jun 2023

Munich, June 30, 2023 - Climate change is altering land management. dry periods in particular are causing problems for arable farming. But not all droughts are the same. The complex interplay of precipitation, soil moisture and plant growth is crucial for agriculture when it comes to harvesting.

Crop year 2023: Despite wet spring, drought stress in June leads to losses This year, crops – especially winter wheat had sufficient water until mid-May. High precipitation in the spring created a good starting for plant growth. A comparison with the average of the past five years also shows that cereal crops in 2023 had fewer water problems by the end of May. Baywa Duerremonitor May 2023
The graph on the left shows winter wheat drought stress averaged over the past 10 days as of the date shown. The graph on the right compares the data to the average for the same period over the past five years.

However, the current data at the end of June 2023 looks different. The very warm and dry weeks since mid-May hit winter wheat at a critical stage of plant growth. Especially in grain formation after flowering, wheat needs a lot of water, and temperatures should not exceed 30 degrees. Despite a good starting situation in spring, wheat is now under higher drought stress than the average of the previous five years. Experts at Vista GmbH are therefore expecting a drop in the winter wheat harvest: a decline of 6 percent is forecast for Germany as a whole. Regionally, the assessment is even worse.

This year, the dry weeks have hit agriculture particularly hard in the regions of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. There, Vista experts expect yield losses of up to 17 percent. Baywa Duerremonitor Jun 2023

Extremely low forecast for grain maize yield this year

Aug 2022

The sight of the corn fields this year is a sad one. Not only for experts it is clearly visible: the harvest will be extremely poor.

Our Ypsilon Yield Prediction Service backs this up with numbers: In many places, a drop in yield of more than 50% compared to the long-term average is to be expected for grain maize. There are only a few districts - especially in the very south of Germany - that will be able to record a plus. yps grain maize yield deviation grain maize 1 aug 2022

Bavarian Farmers‘ Association puts trust in Ypsilon Yield Prediction Data

Jul 2022

At the harvest press conference of the Bayerische Bauernverband (Bavarian Farmers' Association), farmers, the press and Minister of Agriculture Kaniber were able to see for themselves the quality of our results from the Ypsilon Yield Prediction Service for Bavaria at district level. Our managing director Dr. Heike Bach presented the service and the specific figures for Bavaria. The current Ypsilon forecast for the region matches the results of the event's host farmer's first harvest. dr. Heike Bach with bavarian farmers association

Too little wheat for the world: Vista’s Ypsilon Service forecasts weak yield for Ukraine

Jun 2022

22.48 million tons of bread wheat are currently ripening in the fields of Ukraine for this year's harvest. Compared to the average of the past four years, this means a decrease of 17 percent. Professor Klaus Josef Lutz, CEO of BayWa AG: “The data shows that a below-average harvest can no longer be avoided. This is a catastrophe, especially for the people in the world’s poorest countries.The world market will be lacking 20 million tons of wheatt. Parts of the world will starve. Without the opening of the ports, grain will not get out of the country. Intermediate storage is unavoidable, because overland transport capacities are not an alternative.” The full press release is available here.

Forecasting above-average grain corn yields in Germany

Dec 2021

Even under this year's very challenging cultivation conditions, VISTA's satellite-based forecasting service YPSILON® proved its reliability and strengths: While the official statistics only gradually corrected their forecasts upwards - e.g. for the harvest of grain maize - YPSILON® forecast a comparatively high yield potential of between 10.5 and 11 t/ha for grain maize as early as August, while at the same time showing significantly delayed maturity

prediction grain maize yield

The press release can be found here. For a more in depth look to our results, just visit our interactive map here

Impact of COVID-19 on Harvest of Row Crops

Oct 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic's far-reaching national and international impacts are well known and often hard to quantify. In our study, "Impact of COVID-19 on Harvest of Row Crops", funded by the European Space Agency ESA, we quantified when harvest occurred in 2020 and whether there were significant delays due to COVID-19. For this purpose, 200.000 fields of summer crops, winter cereals and winter rapeseed in 19 European countries were sampled and processed by our algorithm.

For this, we estimated the harvest period with an accuracy between one and five days by using coherence and backscatter data generated from the Sentinel-1 mission, which consists of two SAR satellites. To quantify the potential delay of the harvest, the harvest dates derived with radar are compared with our extensive big data analysis framework YPSILON®. YPSILON® describes the perfect time of harvest based on the observed phenological phase of the plant and the current weather conditions.

Thus, a later harvest date derived according to the radar data means a delay in harvesting. The result for winter cereals is shown in the map as percentage of delayed harvest events at the expected end of season in the several countries. In the countries Spain, Great Britain and in western Hungary delays of harvest of winter cereals are observed. All three countries were comparatively hard hit by COVID-19 across Europe in 2020, but not necessarily at the time of winter cereal harvest. The maximum COVID-19 14-day-incidence in the considered harvest period for each country is also visualized in the map.

harvest map of winter cereals

If you want to get a more in depth look at the results just click here. The data can also be found at the FoodSecurity-TEP and on ESA’s RACE (Rapid Action on Coronavirus and EO) platform.

crop status information

Apr 2021

YPSILON product in 2021 also includes crop status information.crop status information

Successful yield prediction for wheat rapeseed and maize

Oct 2020

The final yield prediction obtained from YPSILON model has achieved a high positive correlation compared to the Eurostat statistics. This confirms the accuracy of our yield estimationsyield forecast comparison betwenn eurostat and ypsilon

Start of season 2020

May 2020

On May 18th, YPSILON® starts into its first Europe-wide season! Find the press release here

Back-tests for three years successfully completed

Mar 2020

VISTA successfully completed three years of tests for 19 European countries and the years 2017 to 2019. The YPSILON model forecasted both crop failures and record yields about 2-4 weeks earlier than the average market estimate!

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YPSILON Product Update 2022 - English