Demonstration and validation of automated agricultural field extraction from multi-temporal Landsat data for the majority of United States harvested cropland

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Lin Yan and David P Roy, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, United States
The spatial distribution of agricultural fields is a fundamental description of rural landscapes and the location and extent of fields is important to establish the area of land utilized for agricultural yield prediction, resource allocation, and for economic planning, and may be indicative of the degree of agricultural capital investment, mechanization, and labor intensity. To date, field objects have not been extracted from satellite data over large areas because of computational constraints, the complexity of the extraction task, and because consistently processed appropriate resolution data have not been available or affordable. A recently published automated methodology to extract agricultural crop fields from weekly 30 m Web Enabled Landsat data (WELD) time series was refined and applied to 14 states that cover 70% of harvested U.S. cropland (USDA 2012 Census). The methodology was applied to 2010 combined weekly Landsat 5 and 7 WELD data. The field extraction and quantitative validation results are presented for the following 14 states: Iowa, North Dakota, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, South Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Michigan (sorted by area of harvested cropland). These states include the top 11 U.S states by harvested cropland area. Implications and recommendations for systematic application to global coverage Landsat data are discussed.