EU Science Hub

Take pictures of sunflower in bloom and help improve crop yield forecasting

Image: girl with sunflowers. A photo research campaign: Take pictures of sunflowers.
Jun 24 2019
Aug 15 2019
European Union

Sunflower is an important crop in the European Union.

It produces edible seeds, oil and animal feed.

Romania is the European Union's top sunflower producer. The country is followed by Bulgaria, Hungary, and France.

Sunflowers have deep rooting system that can take up nutrients missed by the previous crops.

That means, sunflowers help to prevent leaching and reduce groundwater pollution.

And a field of sunflowers is beautiful to look at!

We need your help for our research

Take part in our social media campaign.

Collect pictures of sunflowers in bloom from around your area.

You will support our research.

Deadline: 15 August 2019

What we do with your pictures

Your pictures support EU agriculture.

Our scientists will collect the location and timing of flowering from your pictures. Your data then helps to improve the information based on Copernicus satellite observations.

Your 'Citizen Science' input will help to improve crop models and forecasts of crop production across the European Union.  


The flowering sunflower project links to the H2020 funded project LandSense.

The LandSense Citizen Observatory empowers people to track and report on their environment.

This campaign uses an inclusive method of data gathering for ground-based evidence: 'crowd-sourced' citizens' data that supports observations from Europe’s satellites.

The method was sucessfuly piloted last year with a focus on flowering rapeseed.

There was great feedback from citizens across the European Union.

Pictures fom more than 60 people allowed the create a map of when rapeseed was flowering across Europe: The earliest flowering was reported in the south of France and the latest date was reported in Lithuania. This confirms a gradient from the warmer south to the colder north.

Unfortunately, in 2018 drought conditions in central and northern Europe caused considerable reductions in rapeseed production.

As confirmed by the #YellowFlowersEU campaign, the warmer and dry weather led to earlier and shorter flowering of rapeseed which negatively impacting yields.


Copyright: The participants retain full copyright of their images. However, participants grant the European Commission the right to publish and exhibit uploaded photographs.

No fee will be payable by the European Commission for this use.