Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Dahlberg, Richard E.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Crop residues--Measurement; Vegetation mapping; Landsat satellites; Artificial satellites in agriculture


Landsat TM satellite image data were analyzed for their applicability for measurement of crop residue based on spectral reflectance. This procedure for measuring the levels of residue could be used to quantify coverage for all farmed acreage instead of the sampling method currently being employed to monitor producer compliance with the provisions of the 1985 Food Security Act. Research concentrated on reflectance of middle infrared bands 5 and 7. Crop residue level was found to be readily discernible visually with band 5 in the red gun and band 7 in the blue and green guns of the display monitor used. A data set comprised of thirty farm fields in Ogle County, Illinois, was created upon which a maximum likelihood classification was run using unsupervised training. Study data were classified into 0-29, 30-59, and 60+ percent levels of residue coverage. With these three classes, agreement between reclassified Landsat TM data and on-site field measurements was 69 percent. This relatively low level of agreement may be due to incomplete ground measurements. These measurements were taken on-site by Natural Resources Conservation Service staff using the required method. However, one averaged measurement for each field did not accurately reflect the variability in residue cover revealed by the Landsat TM data.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [51]-53)


v, 73 pages




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