Measuring Rice Yield from Space: The Case of Thai Binh Province, Viet Nam

36 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2018

See all articles by Kaiyu Guan

Kaiyu Guan

University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

Ngo The Hien

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Zhan Li

University of Massachusetts Boston

Lakshman Nagraj Rao

Asian Development Bank

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

Despite a growing interest in using satellite data to estimate paddy rice yield in Southeast Asia, significant cloud coverage has led to a scarcity of usable optical data for such analysis. In this paper, we study the feasibility of using two alternative sources of satellite data—(i) surface reflectance fusion data which integrates Landsat and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, and (ii) L-band radar backscatter data from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite 2 (ALOS-2) PALSAR-2 sensors—to circumvent the cloud cover problem and estimate yield in Thai Binh Province, Viet Nam during the second growing season of 2015. Our findings indicate that although Landsat–MODIS fusion data are not necessarily beneficial for paddy rice mapping when compared with only using Landsat data, fusion data allows us to estimate the peak value of various vegetation indexes and derive the best empirical relationship between these indexes and yield data from the field. We also find that the L-band radar data not only has a lower performance in paddy rice mapping when compared with optical data, but also contributes little to rice yield estimation.

Keywords: agriculture, ALOS-2, crop cutting, crop yield, Fusion, Landsat, MODIS, paddy rice, remote sensing, Viet Nam

JEL Classification: C40, O13, Q18

Suggested Citation

Guan, Kaiyu and Hien, Ngo The and Li, Zhan and Rao, Lakshman Nagraj, Measuring Rice Yield from Space: The Case of Thai Binh Province, Viet Nam (March 2018). Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series No. 541. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3188560 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3188560

Kaiyu Guan

University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Ngo The Hien

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ( email )

Vietnam

Zhan Li

University of Massachusetts Boston ( email )

100 William T Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125
United States

Lakshman Nagraj Rao (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

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