Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing

, Volume 46, Issue 10, pp 1701–1711 | Cite as

Yield Forecasting of Spring Maize Using Remote Sensing and Crop Modeling in Faisalabad-Punjab Pakistan

  • Ishfaq AhmadEmail author
  • Umer Saeed
  • Muhammad Fahad
  • Asmat Ullah
  • M. Habib ur Rahman
  • Ashfaq Ahmad
  • Jasmeet Judge
Research Article


Real time, accurate and reliable estimation of maize yield is valuable to policy makers in decision making. The current study was planned for yield estimation of spring maize using remote sensing and crop modeling. In crop modeling, the CERES-Maize model was calibrated and evaluated with the field experiment data and after calibration and evaluation, this model was used to forecast maize yield. A Field survey of 64 farm was also conducted in Faisalabad to collect data on initial field conditions and crop management data. These data were used to forecast maize yield using crop model at farmers’ field. While in remote sensing, peak season Landsat 8 images were classified for landcover classification using machine learning algorithm. After classification, time series normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST) of the surveyed 64 farms were calculated. Principle component analysis were run to correlate the indicators with maize yield. The selected LSTs and NDVIs were used to develop yield forecasting equations using least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression. Calibrated and evaluated results of CERES-Maize showed the mean absolute % error (MAPE) of 0.35–6.71% for all recorded variables. In remote sensing all machine learning algorithms showed the accuracy greater the 90%, however support vector machine (SVM-radial basis) showed the higher accuracy of 97%, that was used for classification of maize area. The accuracy of area estimated through SVM-radial basis was 91%, when validated with crop reporting service. Yield forecasting results of crop model were precise with RMSE of 255 kg ha−1, while remote sensing showed the RMSE of 397 kg ha−1. Overall strength of relationship between estimated and actual grain yields were good with R2 of 0.94 in both techniques. For regional yield forecasting remote sensing could be used due greater advantages of less input dataset and if focus is to assess specific stress, and interaction of plant genetics to soil and environmental conditions than crop model is very useful tool.


Crop model Remote sensing Landcover classification Regional yield forecasting 


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Remote Sensing 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ishfaq Ahmad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Umer Saeed
    • 1
  • Muhammad Fahad
    • 1
  • Asmat Ullah
    • 2
  • M. Habib ur Rahman
    • 3
  • Ashfaq Ahmad
    • 1
  • Jasmeet Judge
    • 4
  1. 1.Agro-climatology Lab, Department of AgronomyUniversity of Agriculture FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Agronomic Research StationKaror-LayyahPakistan
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyMNS-University of AgricultureMultanPakistan
  4. 4.Center for Remote Sensing, Agricultural and Biological Engineering DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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