Crop lodging - the bending of crop stems from their upright position or the failure of root-soil anchorage systems - is a major yield-reducing factor in wheat and causes deterioration of grain quality. The severity of lodging can be measured by a lodging score (LS)- an index calculated from the crop angle of inclination (CAI) and crop lodged area (LA). LS is difficult and time consuming to measure manually meaning that information on lodging occurrence and severity is limited and sparse. Remote sensing-based estimates of LS can provide more timely, synoptic and reliable information on crop lodging across vast areas. This information could improve estimates of crop yield losses, inform insurance loss adjusters and influence management decisions for subsequent seasons. This research - conducted in the 600 ha wheat sown area in the Bonifiche Ferraresi farm, located in Jolanda di Savoia, Ferrara, Italy - evaluated the performance of RADARSAT-2 and Sentinel-1 data to discriminate and classify lodging severity based on field measured LS. We measured temporal crop status characteristics related to lodging (e.g. lodged area, CAI, crop height) and collected relevant meteorological data (wind speed and rainfall) throughout May-June 2018. These field measurements were used to distinguish healthy (He) wheat from lodged wheat with different degrees of lodging severity (moderate, severe and very severe). We acquired multi-incidence angle (FQ8-27° and FQ21-41°) RADARSAT-2 and Sentinel-1 (40°) images and derived multiple metrics from them to discriminate and classify lodging severity. As a part of our data exploration, we performed a correlation analysis between the image-based metrics and LS. Next, a multi-temporal discriminant analysis approach, including a partial least squares (PLS-DA) method, was developed to classify lodging severities. We used the area under the curve-receiver operating characteristics (AUC-ROC) and confusion matrices to evaluate the accuracy of the PLS-DA classification models. Results show that (1) volume scattering components were highly correlated with LS at low incidence angles while double and surface scattering was more prevalent at high incidence angles; (2) lodging severity was best classified using low incidence angle R-FQ8 data (overall accuracy 72%) and (3) the Sentinel-1 data-based classification model was able to correctly identify 60% of the lodging severity cases in the study site. The results from this first study on classifying lodging severity using satellite-based SAR platforms suggests that SAR-based metrics can capture a substantial proportion of the observed variation in lodging severity, which is important in the context of operational crop lodging assessment in particular, and sustainable agriculture in general.
|Date made available||2 Jun 2020|
|Temporal coverage||1 May 2018 - 30 Jun 2018|
|Date of data production||1 May 2018 - 30 Jun 2018|
|Geospatial point||42.646136, 12.405988|