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Usefulness and limits of MODIS GPP for estimating wheat yield

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Gross primary productivity (GPP) estimates derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are converted to wheat yield and compared with observed yield for counties, climate districts and entire states for the 2001 and 2002 growing seasons in Montana and North Dakota. Analyses revealed that progressive levels of spatial aggregation generally improved the relations between estimated and observed wheat yield. However, only state level yield estimates were sufficiently accurate (? 5% deviation from observed yield). The statewide yield results were encouraging because they were derived without the use of retrospective empirical analyses, which constitutes a new opportunity for timely wheat yield estimates for large regions. Additionally, this study identifies six practical limits to estimating wheat yield using MODIS GPP. As a result we describe three suggestions for improving wheat yield estimates for scientists willing to re-compute MODIS-derived GPP estimates using regionally specific inputs.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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