After a review of the current state of the art in LAI retrieval with optical and radar remote sensing data, this study investigates the capabilities of satellite remote sensing imagery in operational crop growth monitoring. This study demonstrated that the availability of an extensive crop field delineation database (like existing for the entire Belgian country) is of crucial in interest in order to retrieve crop specific information. LAI remote sensing retrieval was achieved during the year 2003 on a large Belgian agricultural area (4500 km2) for Sugar beet, Winter wheat and Maize crops. In order to increase the monitoring temporal frequency, an integration of SPOT-HRV, ENVISAT-MERIS and ERS2-SAR sensors was carried out, with a good level of accordance. The retrieval results were compatible with the concurrent field measurements as well as with the outputs given by the WOFOST crop growth model.