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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Research project: Evaluating the potential of EO data to estimate wheat crop yield gap in North Central Plain of China - Dormant

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The aim of this project is to evaluate the potential of Earth Observation data to estimate fine spatial resolution yield gaps in wheat crop across a test area (North central Plains (NCP) in china) in preparation for using Sentinel 2 and 3 data for future operational monitoring.

Funding Sources: Science and Technology Facilities CouncilAwarded amount: £124,168.00

Start Date: 1/12/14
End Date::

Over the last few decades there has been rapid increases in yield of major crops across China, however in order to ensure the food security of the growing and prosperous population, there is a pressing need to further increase the agricultural output. With a very limited scope to expand the areas under farming, focuses of agricultural policy should be on sustainable intensification of exiting lands to the growing demand of food grains. Few recent studies have already indicated significant yield gaps (difference between the potential and actual yields) across the country, however these information are at coarse spatial resolution (county level) and may not be appropriate for targeted intervention. EO data offers a potential for estimating yield gaps at a fine spatial and temporal resolution. This information will be useful to the agricultural policy makers, extension officers and the farmers as it will identify farms/regions with significant yield gaps, the causes of these gaps and therefore help better target resources aimed at sustainable intensification. This project will use innovative methods to estimate yield gaps in wheat crop in the north central plain of China using a combination of EO data sources in order to access the suitability of EO data for a countrywide yield gap monitoring at regular interval. This would be the first study to demonstrate the use of EO data to monitor yield gaps in China and the output would be at a resolution, that we believe, is appropriate for local scale (even farm level) intervention to increase yield.

Related research groups

Environmental Change and Sustainability (ECaS)
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