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Mapping crop residue by combining Landsat and WorldView-3 satellite imagery

August 9, 2019

A unique, multi-tiered approach was applied to map crop-residue cover on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, USA. Field measurements of crop-residue cover were used to calibrate residue mapping using shortwave infrared (SWIR) indices derived from WorldView-3 imagery for an 8-km x 8-km footprint. The resulting map was then used to calibrate and subsequently classify residue mapping of Landsat imagery at a larger spatial resolution and extent. This manuscript describes how the method was applied and presents results in the form of crop-residue cover maps, validation statistics, and quantification of conservation tillage implementation in the agricultural landscape. Overall accuracy for maps derived from Landsat 7 (ETM+) and Landsat 8 (OLI) were comparable at roughly 92% (+/- 10%). Tillage class specific accuracy was also strong and ranged from 75% to 99%. The approach, which employed a 12-band image stack of six tillage spectral indices and six individual Landsat bands, was shown to be adaptable to variable soil-moisture conditions: under dry conditions (Landsat 7, May 14, 2015) the majority of predictive power was attributed to SWIR indices, and under wet conditions (Landsat 8, May 22, 2015) single band reflectance values were more effective at explaining variability in residue cover. Summary statistics of resulting tillage class occurrence matched closely with conservation tillage implementation totals reported by Maryland and Delaware to the Chesapeake Bay Program. This hybrid method combining WorldView-3 and Landsat imagery sources shows promise for monitoring progress in the adoption of conservation tillage practices and for describing crop-residue outcomes associated with a variety of agricultural management practices.

Publication Year 2019
Title Mapping crop residue by combining Landsat and WorldView-3 satellite imagery
DOI 10.3390/rs11161857
Authors W. Dean Hively, Jacob Shermeyer, Brian T. Lamb, Craig S.T. Daughtry, Miguel Quemada, Jason Keppler
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Remote Sensing
Index ID 70204702
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center