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Zhenong Jin
Journal Articles

Eyes in the Sky, Boots on the Ground: Assessing Satellite- and Ground-Based Approaches to Crop Yield Measurement and Analysis

David Lobell, Marshall Burke, George Azzari, Sydney Gourlay, Zhenong Jin, Talip Kilic, Siobhan Murray
American Journal of Agricultural Economics , 2019

Understanding the determinants of agricultural productivity requires accurate measurement of crop output and yield. In smallholder production systems across low- and middle-income countries, crop yields have traditionally been assessed based on farmer-reported production and land areas in household/farm surveys, occasionally by objective crop cuts for a sub-section of a farmer’s plot, and rarely using full-plot harvests. In parallel, satellite data continue to improve in terms of spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution needed to discern performance on smallholder plots.

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Journal Articles

Smallholder maize area and yield mapping at national scales with Google Earth Engine

Zhenong Jin, George Azzari, Calum You, Stefania Di Tomasso, Stephen Aston, Marshall Burke, David Lobell
Remote Sensing of Environment , 2019

Accurate measurements of maize yields at field or subfield scales are useful for guiding agronomic practices and investments and policies for improving food security. Data on smallholder maize systems are currently sparse, but satellite remote sensing offers promise for accelerating learning about these systems. Here we document the use of Google Earth Engine (GEE) to build “wall-to-wall” 10 m resolution maps of (i) cropland presence, (ii) maize presence, and (iii) maize yields for the main 2017 maize season in Kenya and Tanzania.

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Journal Articles

Water Use Efficiency as a Constraint and Target for Improving the Resilience and Productivity of C3 and C4 Crops

Andrew D.B. Leakey, John N. Ferguson, Charles P. Pignon, Alex Wu, Zhenong Jin, Graeme L. Hammer, David Lobell
Annual Review of Plant Biology , 2019

The ratio of plant carbon gain to water use, known as water use efficiency (WUE), has long been recognized as a key constraint on crop production and an important target for crop improvement. WUE is a physiologically and genetically complex trait that can be defined at a range of scales. Many component traits directly influence WUE, including photosynthesis, stomatal and mesophyll conductances, and canopy structure. Interactions of carbon and water relations with diverse aspects of the environment and crop development also modulate WUE.

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Journal Articles

The important but weakening maize yield benefit of grain filling prolongation in the US Midwest

Peng Zhu, Zhenong Jin, Qianlai Zhuang, Philippe Ciais, Carl Bernacchi, Xuhui Wang, David Makowski, David Lobell
Global Change Biology , 2018

A better understanding of recent crop yield trends is necessary for improving the yield and maintaining food security. Several possible mechanisms have been investigated recently in order to explain the steady growth in maize yield over the US Corn‐Belt, but a substantial fraction of the increasing trend remains elusive. In this study, trends in grain filling period (GFP) were identified and their relations with maize yield increase were further analyzed.

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Working Papers

Eyes in the sky, boots on the ground : assessing satellite- and ground-based approaches to crop yield measurement and analysis in Uganda

David Lobell, George Azzari, Marshall Burke, Gourlay,Sydney, Zhenong Jin, Kilic,Talip, Murray,Siobhan
World Bank Group , 2018

Crop yields in smallholder systems are traditionally assessed using farmer-reported information in surveys, occasionally by crop cuts for a sub-section of a farmer's plot, and rarely using full-plot harvests. Accuracy and cost vary dramatically across methods. In parallel, satellite data is improving in terms of spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution needed to discern performance on smallholder plots.

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Journal Articles

Improving the accuracy of satellite-based high-resolution yield estimation: A test of multiple scalable approaches

Zhenong Jin, George Azzari, David Lobell
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology , 2017

Fast, accurate and inexpensive estimates of crop yields at the field scale are useful for many applications.

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Journal Articles

Increasing drought and diminishing benefits of elevated carbon dioxide for soybean yields across the US Midwest

Zhenong Jin, Elizabeth A. Ainsworth, Andrew D. B. Leakey, David Lobell
Global Change Biology , 2017
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Journal Articles

Mapping Smallholder Yield Heterogeneity at Multiple Scales in Eastern Africa

Zhenong Jin, George Azzari, Marshall Burke, Stephen Aston, David Lobell
Remote Sensing , 2017

Accurate measurements of crop production in smallholder farming systems are critical to the understanding of yield constraints and, thus, setting the appropriate agronomic investments and policies for improving food security and reducing poverty. Nevertheless, mapping the yields of smallholder farms is challenging because of factors such as small field sizes and heterogeneous landscapes.

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