Estimating crop area using seasonal time series of Enhanced Vegetation Index from MODIS satellite imagery

Potgieter, Andries B. and Apan, Armando and Dunn, Peter K. and Hammer, Graeme L. (2007) Estimating crop area using seasonal time series of Enhanced Vegetation Index from MODIS satellite imagery. Crop and Pasture Science, 58 (4). pp. 316-325. ISSN 0004-9409

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[Abstract]: Cereal grain is one of the main export commodities of Australian agriculture. Over the past decade, crop yield forecasts for wheat and sorghum have shown appreciable utility for industry planning at shire, state and national scales. There is now an increasing drive from industry for more accurate and cost effective crop production forecasts. In order to generate production estimates, accurate crop area estimates are needed by the end of the cropping season. A range of multivariate methods for analysing remotely sensed Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from 16-day Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery within the cropping period (i.e. April to November) were investigated to estimate crop area for wheat, barley, chickpea and total winter cropped area for a case study region in NE Australia. Each pixel classification method was trained on ground truth data collected from the study region. Three approaches to pixel classification were examined: (i) cluster analysis of trajectories of EVI values from consecutive multi-date imagery during the crop growth period, (ii) Harmonic Analysis of the Time Series (HANTS) of the EVI values, and (iii) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the time series of EVI values. Images classified using these three approaches were compared with each other, and with a classification based on the single MODIS image taken at peak EVI. Imagery for the 2003 and 2004 seasons was used to assess the ability of the methods to determine wheat, barley, chickpea and total cropped area estimates. The accuracy at pixel scale was determined by the percent correct classification metric by contrasting all pixel scale samples with independent pixel observations. At a shire level, aggregated total crop area estimates were compared with surveyed estimates. All multi-temporal methods showed significant overall capability to estimate total winter crop area. There was high accuracy at a pixel scale (>98% correct classification) for identifying overall winter cropping at pixel scale. Discrimination among crops was less accurate, however. Although the use of single-date EVI data produced high accuracy for estimates of wheat area at shire-scale, the result contradicted the poor pixel scale accuracy associated with this approach, due to fortuitous compensating errors. Further studies are needed to extrapolate the multi-temporal approaches to other geographical areas and to improve the lead time for deriving cropped area estimates before harvest.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Published version cannot be displayed. See Publisher's link to published version.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:09
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: multi-temporal MODIS, harmonic analysis, principal component analysis
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090905 Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/AR06279

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