Relationships between primary production and crop yields in semi-arid and arid irrigated agro-ecosystems
- Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Keywords: Agriculture, Crop, GIS, Analysis, Correlation, Satellite, Spatial
Abstract. In semi-arid areas within the MENA region, food security problems are the main problematic imposed. Remote sensing can be a promising too early diagnose food shortages and further prevent the population from famine risks. This study is aimed at examining the possibility of forecasting yield before harvest from remotely sensed MODIS-derived Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Net photosynthesis (net PSN), and Gross Primary Production (GPP) in semi-arid and arid irrigated agro-ecosystems within the conflict affected country of Syria. Relationships between summer yield and remotely sensed indices were derived and analyzed. Simple regression spatially-based models were developed to predict summer crop production. The validation of these models was tested during conflict years. A significant correlation (p<0.05) was found between summer crop yield and EVI, GPP and net PSN. Results indicate the efficiency of remotely sensed-based models in predicting summer yield, mostly for cotton yields and vegetables. Cumulative summer EVI-based model can predict summer crop yield during crisis period, with deviation less than 20% where vegetables are the major yield. This approach prompts to an early assessment of food shortages and lead to a real time management and decision making, especially in periods of crisis such as wars and drought.