Increased availability of hyperspectral imagery necessitates the evaluation of its potential for precision agriculture applications. This study examined airborne hyperspectral imagery for mapping cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yield variability as compared with yield monitor data. Hyperspectral images were acquired using an airborne imaging system from two cotton fields during the 2001 growing season, and yield data were collected from the fields using a cotton yield monitor. The raw hyperspectral images contained 128 bands between 457 and 922 nm. The raw images were geometrically corrected, georeferenced and resampled to 1 m resolution, and then converted to reflectance. Aggregation functions were then applied to each of the 128 bands to reduce the cell resolution to 4 m (close to the cotton picker's cutting width) and 8 m. The yield data were also aggregated to the two grids. Correlation analysis showed that cotton yield was significantly related to the image data for all the bands except for a few bands in the transitional range from the red to the near-infrared region. Stepwise regression performed on the yield and hyperspectral data identified significant bands and band combinations for estimating yield variability for the two fields. Narrow band normalized difference vegetation indices derived from the significant bands provided better yield estimation than most of the individual bands. The stepwise regression models based on the significant narrow bands explained 61% and 69% of the variability in yield for the two fields, respectively. To demonstrate if narrow bands may be better for yield estimation than broad bands, the hyperspectral bands were aggregated into Landsat-7 ETM+ sensor's bandwidths. The stepwise regression models based on the four broad bands explained only 42% and 58% of the yield variability for the two fields, respectively. These results indicate that hyperspectral imagery may be a useful data source for mapping crop yield variability.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 30, 2004
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