Canopy chlorophyll content index

What is СССI (Canopy Chlorophyll Content Index) and how it works?

Canopy Chlorophyll Content Index (CCCI) is a two-dimensional remote sensing index, derived from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Red Edge (NDRE). The index employs a Near InfraRed (NIR) spectral band between 670 and 790 nm, which makes it perfect for Nitrogen content monitoring, as it can only be detected in 3 wavelengths: 670, 720, and 790 nm. A large number of studies have proven that CCCI is a robust canopy nutrition control measure that enhances the process of precise fertilizer application.

How is CCCI used?

Nitrogen is one of the most vital fertilizer components in agriculture as it directly affects the amount of chlorophyll in plants. Under the condition of nitrogen malnourishment, the story goes as follows: the plant growth process is disturbed, chlorophyll development stops, and finally the leaves begin to turn yellow. In order to survive the plant takes nitrogen from older leaves and transfers it to new ones, thus lower-level leaves show an indication of nitrogen starvation. The Canopy Chlorophyll Content Index analyzes the amount of chlorophyll in vegetation, thereby allowing detection of nitrogen starvation before the damage is irreversible. As a result, the CCCI helps to prevent risks related to Nitrogen-rich fertilizer (N-fertilizer) management and will always keep you updated on the state of nitrogen in your fields.

Interpretation of CCCI images

Let’s consider the interpretation of CCCI values from an example Sentinel-2 image:

Canopy Chlorophyll Content Index
Canopy Chlorophyll Content Index

The color palette reflects the amount of nitrogen content in plants. Areas containing high amounts of nitrogen are marked in green, and non-planted areas in red. The selected field, as it is seen from the screen, is split into two parts. The left side was planted earlier than the right. The field is halfway grown, and the vegetation is pale green. On the CCCI image, the same field is marked yellow with areas in red, which directly indicates the chlorophyll decrease and, as a consequence, Nitrogen deficiency.