Remote sensing of crop residue cover and soil tillage intensity

C.S.T. Daughtry, E.R. Hunt, P.C. Doraiswamy, J.E. McMurtrey, A.L. Russ
IGARSS 2003. 2003 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. Proceedings (IEEE Cat. No.03CH37477)  
Management of plant litter or crop residues in agricultural fields is an important consideration for reducing soil erosion and increasing soil organic C. Current methods of quantifying crop residue cover are inadequate for characterizing the spatial variability of residue cover within fields or across large regions. Our objectives were to evaluate several spectral indices for measuring crop residue cover using satellite multispectral and hyperspectral data and to categorize soil tillage
more » ... oil tillage intensity in agricultural fields. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and EO-1 Hyperion imaging spectrometer data were acquired over agricultural fields in central Iowa in May and June 2004. Crop residue cover was measured in corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max Merr.) fields using line-point transects. Spectral residue indices using Landsat TM bands were weakly related to crop residue cover. With the Hyperion data, crop residue cover was linearly related to the cellulose absorption index (CAI), which measures the relative intensity of cellulose and lignin absorption features near 2100 nm. Coefficients of determination (r 2 ) for crop residue cover as a function of CAI were 0.85 for the May and 0.77 for the June Hyperion data. Three tillage intensity classes, corresponding to intensive (<15% residue cover), reduced (15-30% cover) and conservation (>30% cover) tillage, were correctly identified in 66-68% of fields. Classification accuracy increased to 80-82% for two classes, corresponding to conventional (intensive + reduced) and conservation tillage. By combining information on previous season's (2003) crop classification with crop residue cover after planting in 2004, an inventory of soil tillage intensity by previous crop type was generated for the whole Hyperion scene. Regional surveys of soil management practices that affect soil conservation and soil C dynamics are possible using advanced multispectral or hyperspectral imaging systems. Published by Elsevier B.V.
doi:10.1109/igarss.2003.1294385 fatcat:cy6g6on5h5gipnlgmzackn25uy