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Space-borne remote sensing is an effective and inexpensive way to identify crop fields and detect the crop condition. We examined the multi-temporal spectral characteristics of rice fields in South Korea to detect their phenological development and condition. These rice fields are compact, small-scale parcels of land. For the analysis, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) and RapidEye images acquired in 2011 were used. The annual spectral tendencies of different crop types could be detected using MODIS data because of its high temporal resolution, despite its relatively low spatial resolution. A comparison between MODIS and RapidEye showed that the spectral characteristics changed with the spatial resolution. The vegetation index (VI) derived from MODIS revealed more moderate values among different land-cover types than the index derived from RapidEye. Additionally, an analysis of various VIs using RapidEye satellite data showed that the VI adopting the red edge band reflected crop conditions better than the traditionally used normalized difference VI.