Improved Yield Prediction of Winter Wheat Using a Novel Two-Dimensional Deep Regression Neural Network Trained via Remote Sensing
Sheppard, John W.
Hedgedus, Paul B.
Maxwell, Bruce D.
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In recent years, the use of remotely sensed and on-ground observations of crop fields, in conjunction with machine learning techniques, has led to highly accurate crop yield estimations. In this work, we propose to further improve the yield prediction task by using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) given their unique ability to exploit the spatial information of small regions of the field. We present a novel CNN architecture called Hyper3DNetReg that takes in a multi-channel input raster and, unlike previous approaches, outputs a two-dimensional raster, where each output pixel represents the predicted yield value of the corresponding input pixel. Our proposed method then generates a yield prediction map by aggregating the overlapping yield prediction patches obtained throughout the field. Our data consist of a set of eight rasterized remotely-sensed features: nitrogen rate applied, precipitation, slope, elevation, topographic position index (TPI), aspect, and two radar backscatter coefficients acquired from the Sentinel-1 satellites. We use data collected during the early stage of the winter wheat growing season (March) to predict yield values during the harvest season (August). We present leave-one-out cross-validation experiments for rain-fed winter wheat over four fields and show that our proposed methodology produces better predictions than five compared methods, including Bayesian multiple linear regression, standard multiple linear regression, random forest, an ensemble of feedforward networks using AdaBoost, a stacked autoencoder, and two other CNN architectures.
Morales G, Sheppard JW, Hegedus PB, Maxwell BD. Improved Yield Prediction of Winter Wheat Using a Novel Two-Dimensional Deep Regression Neural Network Trained via Remote Sensing. Sensors. 2023; 23(1):489. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23010489