One of the most widely grown crops in the US is soybean, worth around $40 billion annually. The UMD GLAD team is undertaking research into soybean area mapping and yield forecasting over a 2.7Ha sample soybean field at the UMD experimental facility - Wye Research and Education Center in Queenstown, Maryland. The research involves acquiring UAV-based LiDAR data throughout the growing season of the field coincident with Landsat 8 satellite overpass dates.The extremely high density point data cloud derived from the UAV-based LiDAR may accompany the ability to dive deep into the 'feature space' of Landsat spectral metrics. Monitoring the crop using the combination of these data may provide intensive qualitative results to improve accuracy of soybean mapping and yield forecasting at larger scales.

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UMD team flying the UAV