Table of Contents
ISRN Agronomy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 941873, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/941873
Review Article

Remote Sensing Applications in Tobacco Yield Estimation and the Recommended Research in Zimbabwe

1Tobacco Research Board, Kutsaga Research Station, Harare, Zimbabwe
2Department of Crop Science, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
3Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Received 30 September 2013; Accepted 28 October 2013

Academic Editors: O. Ferrarese-Filho and C. Tsadilas

Copyright © 2013 Ezekia Svotwa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Tobacco crop area and yield forecasts are important in stabilizing tobacco prices at the auction floors. Tobacco yield estimation in Zimbabwe is currently based on statistical surveys and ground-based field reports. These methods are costly, time consuming, and are prone to large errors. Remote sensing can provide timely information on crop spectral characteristics which can be used to estimate crop yields. Remote sensing application on agriculture in Zimbabwe is still very limited. Research should focus on identifying suitable reflectance indices that are related to tobacco growth and yield. Varietal yield response to fertiliser and planting dates as well as suitable temporal windows for spectral data collection should be identified. The challenges of the different tobacco land sizes have to be overcome by identifying suitable satellite platform, with sufficient spectral resolution to separate the tobacco crop from the adjacent competing crops and noncrop vegetative surfaces. The identified suitable index should be strongly correlated with tobacco in season dry mass and yield. The suitable vegetative indices can be employed in establishing tobacco cropped area and then apply the long-term area yield relationship from government and nongovernmental statistical departments to estimate yield from remote sensing derived cropped area.