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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Field Scale Evaluation of Crop Residue Cover Distribution Using Airborne and Satellite Remote Sensing

Authors
item Sullivan, Dana
item Fulmer, Jaime
item Strickland, Timothy
item Masters, Mark - ALBANY STATE
item Yao, Haibo - INSTITUTE FOR TECH. DEV.

Submitted to: Georgia Water Resources Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 19, 2006
Publication Date: March 20, 2007
Citation: Sullivan, D.G., Fulmer, J.L., Strickland, T.C., Masters, M., Yao, H. 2007. Field Scale Evaluation of Crop Residue Cover Distribution Using Airborne and Satellite Remote Sensing. Georgia Water Resources Conference, March 27-29, 2007, Athens, Georgia.

Interpretive Summary: Conservation tillage adoption has been associated with sustainable agricultural practices and linked with increased plant available water content in some regions. However, rapid and spatially accurate field scale assessments in the southeastern U.S. are lacking. A major goal of this study was to evaluate satellite and aerial imagery as a rapid and spatially explicit method for delineating crop residue cover and conservation tillage adoption within a watershed. In the spring of 2005 and 2006, crop residue cover variability was measured on two experimental farm sites located within the Southern Coastal Plain. Remotely sensed data were collected subsequent to planting using the aircraft mounted Airborne Data Multi-Spectral Imaging System and Quickbird satellite. Coincident with each image acquisition, each site was grid sampled (0.20 ha grid) for soil water content, soil organic carbon content, crop residue carbon and water content, and soil texture. Soil and crop residue was composite sampled within a 2 – m radius of each point. Digital images (1.4m2) were acquired at designated grid points to classify percentages of residue coverage. Ground truth data were used to evaluate the impact of change in surface conditions on our ability to remotely quantify residue cover. Accurate and rapid estimates of cover at this scale may decrease uncertainties in watershed models currently being used to evaluate the impact of land use/management on water quality and quantity.

Technical Abstract: Conservation tillage adoption has been associated with sustainable agricultural practices and linked with increased plant available water content in some regions. However, rapid and spatially accurate field scale assessments in the southeastern U.S. are lacking. A major goal of this study was to evaluate satellite and aerial imagery as a rapid and spatially explicit method for delineating crop residue cover and conservation tillage adoption within a watershed. In the spring of 2005 and 2006, crop residue cover variability was measured on two experimental farm sites located within the Southern Coastal Plain. Remotely sensed data were collected subsequent to planting using the aircraft mounted Airborne Data Multi-Spectral Imaging System and Quickbird satellite. Coincident with each image acquisition, each site was grid sampled (0.20 ha grid) for soil water content, soil organic carbon content, crop residue carbon and water content, and soil texture. Soil and crop residue was composite sampled within a 2 – m radius of each point. Digital images (1.4m2) were acquired at designated grid points to classify percentages of residue coverage. Ground truth data were used to evaluate the impact of change in surface conditions on our ability to remotely quantify residue cover. Accurate and rapid estimates of cover at this scale may decrease uncertainties in watershed models currently being used to evaluate the impact of land use/management on water quality and quantity.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014