This study classified paddy fields according to rice varieties and monitored temporal changes in rice growth using SAR backscatter coefficients (s°). A growing period time-series of backscatter coefficients was set up for nine fine-beam mode RADARSAT-1 SAR images from April to October 2005. The images were compared with field-measured rice growth parameters such as leaf area index (LAI), plant height, fresh and dry biomass, and water content in grain and plants for 45 parcels in Dangjin-gun, Chungnam Province, South Korea. The average backscatter coefficients for early-maturing rice varieties (13 parcels) ranged from -18.17 dB to -6.06 dB and were lower than those for medium-late maturing rice varieties during most of the growing season. Both crops showed the highest backscatter coefficient values at the heading stage (late July) for early-maturing rice, and the difference was greatest before harvest for earlymaturing rice. The temporal difference in backscatter coefficients between rice varieties may play a key role in identifying early-maturing rice fields. On the other hand, comparisons with field-measured parameters of rice growth showed that backscatter coefficients decreased or remained on a plateau after the heading stage, even though the growth of the rice canopy had advanced.