Monitoring and discriminating co-epidemic diseases and pests at regional scales are of practical importance in guiding differential treatment. A combination of vegetation and environmental parameters could improve the accuracy for discriminating crop diseases and pests. Different diseases and pests could cause similar stresses and symptoms during the same crop growth period, so combining growth period information can be useful for discerning different changes in crop diseases and pests. Additionally, problems associated with imbalanced data often have detrimental effects on the performance of image classification. In this study, we developed an approach for discriminating crop diseases and pests based on bi-temporal Landsat-8 satellite imagery integrating both crop growth and environmental parameters. As a case study, the approach was applied to data during a period of typical co-epidemic outbreak of winter wheat powdery mildew and aphids in the Shijiazhuang area of Hebei Province, China. Firstly, bi-temporal remotely sensed features characterizing growth indices and environmental factors were calculated based on two Landsat-8 images. The synthetic minority oversampling technique (SMOTE) algorithm was used to resample the imbalanced training data set before model construction. Then, a back propagation neural network (BPNN) based on a new training data set balanced by the SMOTE approach (SMOTE-BPNN) was developed to generate the regional wheat disease and pest distribution maps. The original training data set-based BPNN and support vector machine (SVM) methods were used for comparison and testing of the initial results. Our findings suggest that the proposed approach incorporating both growth and environmental parameters of different crop periods could distinguish wheat powdery mildew and aphids at the regional scale. The bi-temporal growth indices and environmental factors-based SMOTE-BPNN, BPNN, and SVM models all had an overall accuracy high than 80%. Meanwhile, the SMOTE-BPNN method had the highest G-means among the three methods. These results revealed that the combination of bi-temporal crop growth and environmental parameters is essential for improving the accuracy of the crop disease and pest discriminating models. The combination of SMOTE and BPNN could effectively improve the discrimination accuracy of the minor disease or pest.
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