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Open AccessArticle

Correlating the Plant Height of Wheat with Above-Ground Biomass and Crop Yield Using Drone Imagery and Crop Surface Model, A Case Study from Nepal

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Department of Geomatics Engineering, School of Engineering, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel 45200, Nepal
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International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Khumaltar, Lalitpur 44700, Nepal
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Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen University and Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Interfaculty Department for Geoinformatics–Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
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Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, School of Science, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel 45200, Nepal
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Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Drones 2020, 4(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones4030028
Received: 30 May 2020 / Revised: 26 June 2020 / Accepted: 28 June 2020 / Published: 1 July 2020
Food security is one of the burning issues in the 21st century, as a tremendous population growth over recent decades has increased demand for food production systems. However, agricultural production is constrained by the limited availability of arable land resources, whereas a significant part of these is already degraded due to overexploitation. In order to get optimum output from the available land resources, it is of prime importance that crops are monitored, analyzed, and mapped at various stages of growth so that the areas having underdeveloped/unhealthy plants can be treated appropriately as and when required. This type of monitoring can be performed using ultra-high-resolution earth observation data like the images captured through unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/drones. The objective of this research is to estimate and analyze the above-ground biomass (AGB) of the wheat crop using a consumer-grade red-green-blue (RGB) camera mounted on a drone. AGB and yield of wheat were estimated from linear regression models involving plant height obtained from crop surface models (CSMs) derived from the images captured by the drone-mounted camera. This study estimated plant height in an integrated setting of UAV-derived images with a Mid-Western Terai topographic setting (67 to 300 m amsl) of Nepal. Plant height estimated from the drone images had an error of 5% to 11.9% with respect to direct field measurement. While R2 of 0.66 was found for AGB, that of 0.73 and 0.70 were found for spike and grain weights respectively. This statistical quality assurance contributes to crop yield estimation, and hence to develop efficient food security strategies using earth observation and geo-information. View Full-Text
Keywords: wheat; remote sensing; AGB; crop yield; estimation; crop monitoring; consumer drone; digital camera wheat; remote sensing; AGB; crop yield; estimation; crop monitoring; consumer drone; digital camera
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MDPI and ACS Style

Panday, U.S.; Shrestha, N.; Maharjan, S.; Pratihast, A.K.; Shahnawaz; Shrestha, K.L.; Aryal, J. Correlating the Plant Height of Wheat with Above-Ground Biomass and Crop Yield Using Drone Imagery and Crop Surface Model, A Case Study from Nepal. Drones 2020, 4, 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones4030028

AMA Style

Panday US, Shrestha N, Maharjan S, Pratihast AK, Shahnawaz, Shrestha KL, Aryal J. Correlating the Plant Height of Wheat with Above-Ground Biomass and Crop Yield Using Drone Imagery and Crop Surface Model, A Case Study from Nepal. Drones. 2020; 4(3):28. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones4030028

Chicago/Turabian Style

Panday, Uma S.; Shrestha, Nawaraj; Maharjan, Shashish; Pratihast, Arun K.; Shahnawaz; Shrestha, Kundan L.; Aryal, Jagannath. 2020. "Correlating the Plant Height of Wheat with Above-Ground Biomass and Crop Yield Using Drone Imagery and Crop Surface Model, A Case Study from Nepal" Drones 4, no. 3: 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones4030028

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