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Remote Sens. 2012, 4(9), 2492-2509; doi:10.3390/rs4092492

Monitoring Biennial Bearing Effect on Coffee Yield Using MODIS Remote Sensing Imagery

* ,
Remote Sensing Division (DSR), National Institute for Space Research (INPE), São José dos Campos-SP, 12227-010, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2012 / Revised: 27 July 2012 / Accepted: 15 August 2012 / Published: 27 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Agriculture)
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Coffee is the second most valuable traded commodity worldwide. Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer, responsible for one third of the world production. A coffee plot exhibits high and low production in alternated years, a characteristic so called biennial yield. High yield is generally a result of suitable conditions of foliar biomass. Moreover, in high production years one plot tends to lose more leaves than it does in low production years. In both cases some correlation between coffee yield and leaf biomass can be deduced which can be monitored through time series of vegetation indices derived from satellite imagery. In Brazil, a comprehensive, spatially distributed study assessing this relationship has not yet been done. The objective of this study was to assess possible correlations between coffee yield and MODIS derived vegetation indices in the Brazilian largest coffee-exporting province. We assessed EVI and NDVI MODIS products over the period between 2002 and 2009 in the south of Minas Gerais State whose production accounts for about one third of the Brazilian coffee production. Landsat images were used to obtain a reference map of coffee areas and to identify MODIS 250 m pure pixels overlapping homogeneous coffee crops. Only MODIS pixels with 100% coffee were included in the analysis. A wavelet-based filter was used to smooth EVI and NDVI time profiles. Correlations were observed between variations on yield of coffee plots and variations on vegetation indices for pixels overlapping the same coffee plots. The vegetation index metrics best correlated to yield were the amplitude and the minimum values over the growing season. The best correlations were obtained between variation on yield and variation on vegetation indices the previous year (R = 0.74 for minEVI metric and R = 0.68 for minNDVI metric). Although correlations were not enough to estimate coffee yield exclusively from vegetation indices, trends properly reflect the biennial bearing effect on coffee yield.
Keywords: remote sensing; coffee yield; vegetation indices; wavelet filtering remote sensing; coffee yield; vegetation indices; wavelet filtering
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Bernardes, T.; Moreira, M.A.; Adami, M.; Giarolla, A.; Rudorff, B.F.T. Monitoring Biennial Bearing Effect on Coffee Yield Using MODIS Remote Sensing Imagery. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 2492-2509.

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