Understanding wheat lodging using multi-temporal Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data

S. Chauhan*, R. Darvishzadeh, Y Lu, M Boschetti, A.D. Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Crop lodging assessment is essential for evaluating yield damage and informing crop management decisions for sustainable agricultural production. While a few studies have demonstrated the potential of optical and SAR data for crop lodging assessment, large-scale crop lodging assessment has been hampered by the unavailability of dense satellite time series data. The unprecedented availability of free Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data may provide a basis for operational detection and monitoring of crop lodging. In this context, this study aims to understand the effect of lodging on backscatter/coherence and spectral reflectance derived from Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data and to detect lodging incidence in wheat using time-series analysis. Crop biophysical parameters were measured in the field for both healthy and lodged plots from March to June 2018 in a study site in Ferrara, Italy, and the corresponding Sentinel images were downloaded and processed. The lodged plots were further categorised into different lodging severity classes (moderate, severe and very severe). Temporal profiles of backscatter, coherence, reflectance and continuum removed spectra were studied for healthy and lodging severity classes throughout the stem elongation to ripening growth stages. The Kruskal Wallis and posthoc Tukey tests were used to test for significant differences between different classes. Our results for Sentinel-2 showed that red edge (740 nm) and NIR (865 nm) bands could best distinguish healthy from lodged wheat (particularly healthy and very severe). For Sentinel-1, the analysis revealed the potential of VH backscatter and the complementarity of VV and VH/VV backscatter in distinguishing a maximum number of classes. Our findings demonstrate the potential of Sentinel data for near real-time detection of the incidence and severity of lodging in wheat. To the best of our knowledge, there is no study that has contributed to this application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111804
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalRemote sensing of environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020


  • Sentinel-1
  • Lodging severity
  • wheat
  • sustainable agriculture
  • remote sensing
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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  • ITC PhD publication award 2020

    Chauhan, S. (Recipient), Darvish (Darvishzadeh), R. (Contributor), Lu, Y. (Contributor), Boschetti, Mirco (Contributor) & Nelson, Andy (Contributor), 13 Jan 2021


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