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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 16; doi:10.3390/rs9010016

Using MODIS Data to Predict Regional Corn Yields

1
Department of Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
2
Department of Geoinformatic Engineering, Inha University, 100 Inha-ro, Nam-gu, Incheon 22212, Korea
3
Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jose Moreno and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 11 October 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
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Abstract

A simple approach was developed to predict corn yields using the MoDerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data product from two geographically separate major corn crop production regions: Illinois, USA and Heilongjiang, China. The MOD09A1 data, which are eight-day interval surface reflectance data, were obtained from day of the year (DOY) 89 to 337 to calculate the leaf area index (LAI). The sum of the LAI from early in the season to a given date in the season (end of DOY (EOD)) was well fitted to a logistic function and represented seasonal changes in leaf area duration (LAD). A simple phenology model was derived to estimate the dates of emergence and maturity using the LAD-logistic function parameters b1 and b2, which represented the rate of increase in LAI and the date of maximum LAI, respectively. The phenology model predicted emergence and maturity dates fairly well, with root mean square error (RMSE) values of 6.3 and 4.9 days for the validation dataset, respectively. Two simple linear regression models (YP and YF) were established using LAD as the variable to predict corn yield. The yield model YP used LAD from predicted emergence to maturity, and the yield model YF used LAD for a predetermined period from DOY 89 to a particular EOD. When state/province corn yields for the validation dataset were predicted at DOY 321, near completion of the corn harvest, the YP model, including the predicted phenology, performed much better than the YF model, with RMSE values of 0.68 t/ha and 0.66 t/ha for Illinois and Heilongjiang, respectively. The YP model showed similar or better performance, even for the much earlier pre-harvest yield prediction at DOY 257. In addition, the model performance showed no difference between the two study regions with very different climates and cultivation methods, including cultivar and irrigation management. These results suggested that the approach described in this paper has potential for application to relatively wide agroclimatic regions with different cultivation methods and for extension to the other crops. However, it needs to be examined further in tropical and sub-tropical regions, which are very different from the two study regions with respect to agroclimatic constraints and agrotechnologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: MODIS; yield; phenology; LAD; logistic function MODIS; yield; phenology; LAD; logistic function
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ban, H.-Y.; Kim, K.S.; Park, N.-W.; Lee, B.-W. Using MODIS Data to Predict Regional Corn Yields. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 16.

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