Satellite-based benchmarking of yield and water use of perennial fruit crops in South Eastern Australia
Benchmarking methods aim to identify best management practices by allowing producers to rank and compare on-farm yield and water use outcomes. We sought to develop a satellite-based biophysical approach to the benchmarking of yield and water use to overcome existing limitations on sample size, and to account for effects of vegetation cover and weather on observed yield and irrigation water use. Field-based measures of crop water supply (irrigation + rainfall) were compared with satellite-based estimates of crop water requirement of 57 pome- and stone-fruit crops in the Shepparton Irrigation Region, and 17 nut crops in the Sunraysia Irrigation Region of South Eastern Australia. Satellite-based estimates of crop water requirement closely matched crop water supply in most crops in 2011/12 irrigation season. Otherwise, actual water supply to crops exceeded satellite estimates of crop water requirement in both regions. Relatively few measures of crop yield matched estimates of potential yield based on radiation interception. The above results demonstrate that satellite-based data can be used to benchmark yield and water use in pome- and stone-fruit and nut crops.
O'Connell, M., Whitfield, D., McAllister, A., McClymont, L., Abuzar, M. and Sheffield, K. (2016). Satellite-based benchmarking of yield and water use of perennial fruit crops in South Eastern Australia. Acta Hortic. 1112, 117-122
apricot, apple, pear, peach, nectarine, almond, NDVI, GIS, water productivity