Monitoring Interannual Variation in Global Crop Yield Using Long-term AVHRR and MODIS Observations

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global crop yield, crop phenology, crop greenness, long-term satellite observations


Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data have been extensively applied for crop yield prediction because of their daily temporal resolution and a global coverage. This study investigated global crop yield using daily two band Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI2) derived from AVHRR (1981–1999) and MODIS (2000–2013) observations at a spatial resolution of 0.05° (∼5 km). Specifically, EVI2 temporal trajectory of crop growth was simulated using a hybrid piecewise logistic model (HPLM) for individual pixels, which was used to detect crop phenological metrics. The derived crop phenology was then applied to calculate crop greenness defined as EVI2 amplitude and EVI2 integration during annual crop growing seasons, which was further aggregated for croplands in each country, respectively. The interannual variations in EVI2 amplitude and EVI2 integration were combined to correlate to the variation in cereal yield from 1982–2012 for individual countries using a stepwise regression model, respectively. The results show that the confidence level of the established regression models was higher than 90% (Pvalue < 0.1) in most countries in the northern hemisphere although it was relatively poor in the southern hemisphere (mainly in Africa). The error in the yield predication was relatively smaller in America, Europe and East Asia than that in Africa. In the 10 countries with largest cereal production across the world, the prediction error was less than 9% during past three decades. This suggests that crop phenology-controlled greenness from coarse resolution satellite data has the capability of predicting national crop yield across the world, which could provide timely and reliable crop information for global agricultural trade and policymakers.

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ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing



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