Identification of saline soils with multi-year remote sensing of crop yields

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Soil salinity is an important constraint to agricultural sustainability, but accurate information on its variation across agricultural regions or its impact on regional crop productivity remains sparse. We evaluated the relationships between remotely sensed wheat yields and salinity in an irrigation district in the Colorado River Delta Region. The goals of this study were to (1) document the relative importance of salinity as a constraint to regional wheat production and (2) develop techniques to accurately identify saline fields. Estimates of wheat yield from six years of Landsat data agreed well with ground-based records on individual fields (R{sup 2} = 0.65). ... continued below

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Lobell, D; Ortiz-Monasterio, I; Gurrola, F C & Valenzuela, L October 17, 2006.

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Soil salinity is an important constraint to agricultural sustainability, but accurate information on its variation across agricultural regions or its impact on regional crop productivity remains sparse. We evaluated the relationships between remotely sensed wheat yields and salinity in an irrigation district in the Colorado River Delta Region. The goals of this study were to (1) document the relative importance of salinity as a constraint to regional wheat production and (2) develop techniques to accurately identify saline fields. Estimates of wheat yield from six years of Landsat data agreed well with ground-based records on individual fields (R{sup 2} = 0.65). Salinity measurements on 122 randomly selected fields revealed that average 0-60 cm salinity levels > 4 dS m{sup -1} reduced wheat yields, but the relative scarcity of such fields resulted in less than 1% regional yield loss attributable to salinity. Moreover, low yield was not a reliable indicator of high salinity, because many other factors contributed to yield variability in individual years. However, temporal analysis of yield images showed a significant fraction of fields exhibited consistently low yields over the six year period. A subsequent survey of 60 additional fields, half of which were consistently low yielding, revealed that this targeted subset had significantly higher salinity at 30-60 cm depth than the control group (p = 0.02). These results suggest that high subsurface salinity is associated with consistently low yields in this region, and that multi-year yield maps derived from remote sensing therefore provide an opportunity to map salinity across agricultural regions.

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PDF-file: 30 pages; size: 0.7 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Soil Science Society of America Journal, N/A, N/A, April 5, 2007, pp. 777-783

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-225527
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 907872
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886789

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • October 17, 2006

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 1:51 p.m.

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Lobell, D; Ortiz-Monasterio, I; Gurrola, F C & Valenzuela, L. Identification of saline soils with multi-year remote sensing of crop yields, article, October 17, 2006; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886789/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.