Water productivity and crop yield: A simplified remote sensing driven operational approach

Isidro Campos, Christopher M.U. Neale, Timothy J. Arkebauer, Andrew E. Suyker, Ivo Z. Gonçalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This paper develops and proposes a simplified operational remote sensing approach to assist crop growth models in reproducing actual processes in the field by relating satellite based remote sensing data and key canopy biophysical parameters. While relationships between spectral vegetation indices (VI) and biomass production have been conducted in the past, we specifically pursue the relationship between crop transpiration and biomass production as described in the FAO-66 Aquacrop manual. The authors point to a possible general relationship between a transpiration coefficient (herein we propose the basal crop coefficient, Kcb, as a proxy) and biomass production. In parallel, many studies have demonstrated the well-established relationship between Kcb and remote sensing based VI. Thus, the relationship between both parameters has a strong basis but must be demonstrated. We analyze the relationship between biomass production and the reflectance based Kcb using field data obtained during 11 years in irrigated and rainfed soybeans and maize in eastern Nebraska. The analysis confirms that the relationship is strong and paves the way for the use of remote sensing data for a quantitative analysis of crop biomass production and yield.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-511
Number of pages11
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
StatePublished - Feb 15 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass
  • Evapotranspiration
  • SAVI
  • Transpiration coefficient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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