Xinlei Wang Jianxi Huang Quanlong Feng Dongqin Yin
Timely and accurate forecasting of crop yields is crucial to food security and sustainable development in the agricultural sector. However, winter wheat yield estimation and forecasting on a regional scale still remains challenging. In this study, we established a two-branch deep learning model to predict winter wheat yield in the main producing regions of China at the county level. The first branch of the model was constructed based on the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks with inputs from meteorological and remote sensing data. Another branch was constructed using Convolution Neural Networks (CNN) to model static soil features. The model was then trained using the detrended statistical yield data during 1982 to 2015 and evaluated by leave-one-year-out-validation. The evaluation results showed a promising performance of the model with the overall R 2 and RMSE of 0.77 and 721 kg/ha, respectively. We further conducted yield prediction and uncertainty analysis based on the two-branch model and obtained the forecast accuracy in one month prior to harvest of 0.75 and 732 kg/ha. Results also showed that while yield detrending could potentially introduce higher uncertainty, it had the advantage of improving the model performance in yield prediction.
Keywords: remote sensing; winter wheat; crop yield prediction; yield detrending; deep learning; uncertainty