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Remote sensing of regional yield assessment of wheat in Haryana, India

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Regional estimates of crop yield are critical for a wide range of applications, including agricultural land management and carbon cycle modelling. Remotely sensed images offer great potential in estimating crop extent and yield over large areas owing to their synoptic and repetitive coverage. Over the last few decades, the most commonly used yield–vegetation index relationship has been criticized because of its strong empirical character. Therefore, the present study was mainly focused on estimating regional wheat yield by remote sensing from the parametric Monteith's model, in an intensive agricultural region (Haryana state) in India. Discrimination and area estimates of wheat crop were achieved by spectral classification of image from AWiFS (Advanced Wide Field Sensor) on‐board the IRS‐P6 satellite. Remotely sensed estimates of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR) and daily temperature were used as input to a simple model based on light‐use efficiency to estimate wheat yields at the pixel level. Major winter crops (wheat, mustard and sugarcane) were discriminated from single‐date AWiFS image with an accuracy of more than 80%. The estimates of wheat acreage from AWiFS had less than 5% relative deviation from official reports, which shows the potential of single‐date AWiFS image for estimating wheat acreage in Haryana. The physical range of yield estimates from satellites using Monteith's model was within reported yields of wheat for both methods of fAPAR, in an intensive irrigated wheat‐growing region. Comparison of satellite‐based and official estimates indicates errors in regional yields within 10% for 78% and 68% of cases with fAPAR_M1 and fAPAR_M2, respectively. However, wheat yields in general are over‐ and underestimated by the fAPAR_M1 and fAPAR_M2 methods, respectively. The validation with district level wheat yields revealed a root mean square error of 0.25 and 0.35 t ha −1 from fAPAR_M1 and fAPAR_M2, respectively, which shows the better performance of the fAPAR_M1 method for estimating regional wheat yields. Future work should address improvement in crop identification and field‐scale yield estimation by integration of high and coarse resolution satellite sensor data.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Agriculture and Soils Division, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (NRSA), Dehradun 248001, India 2: Tripura State Council for Science and Technology, Agartala, India

Publication date: 2006-10-10

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