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Smart Agriculture ›› 2019, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (4): 1-11.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.2019.1.4.201905-SA005

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Progress and prospects of crop diseases and pests monitoring by remote sensing

Huang Wenjiang1,2, Shi Yue1,2, Dong Yingying1, Ye Huichun1, Wu Mingquan2, Cui Bei1, Liu Linyi1,2,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100094, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100094, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-05-19 Revised:2019-10-15 Online:2019-10-30 Published:2019-12-24
  • corresponding author: Wenjiang Huang


Global change and natural disturbances have already caused a severe co-epidemic of crop pests and diseases, such as aphids, fusarium, rust, and powdery mildew. These threats may result in serious deterioration of grain yield and quality. Traditionally, crop pests and diseases are monitored by visual inspection of individual plants, which is time-consuming and inefficient. Besides, the distribution of different infected wheat patches are hard to identify through manual scouting. However, the spatial scale difference of remote sensing observation directly affects the remote sensing diagnosis mechanism and monitoring method of pests and diseases. The differences in pest and disease characterization and monitoring mechanisms promote the development of the remote sensing-based monitoring technology at different spatial scales, and the complementarity of multi-spatial data sources (remote sensing, meteorology, plant protection, etc.) increase the chance of the precision monitoring of the occurrence and development of pest and disease. As a non-destructive way of collecting ground information, remote sensing technologies have been proved to be feasible in crop pests and diseases monitoring and forecasting. Meanwhile, many crop diseases and pests monitoring and alarming systems have been developed to manage and control agricultural practices. Based on the description of physiological mechanism that crop diseases and pests stressed spectral response, some effective spectral wavelengths, remote sensing monitoring technologies, and crop pests and disease monitoring and forecasting system were summarized and sorted in this paper. In addition, challenge problems of key technology on monitoring crop diseases and pests with remote sensing was also pointed out, and some possible solutions and tendencies were also provided. This article detailed revealed the researches on the remote sensing based monitoring methods on detection and classification of crop pests and diseases with the challenges of regional-scale, multi-source, and multi-temporal data. In addition, we also reviewed the remote sensing monitoring of pests and diseases that meet the characteristics of different remote sensing spatial scale data and precise plant protection and control needs. Finally, we investigated the current development of the pest and disease monitoring systems which integrated the research and application of the existing crop pest and disease monitoring and early warning model. In summary, this review will prove a new perspective for sustainable agriculture from the current researches, thus, new technology for earth observation and habitat monitoring will not only directly benefit crop production through better pest and disease management but through the biophysical controls on pest and disease emergence. Application of UAVs, image processing to insect/disease detection and control should be directly transferable to other pests and diseases, with feedbacks into UAV and EO capabilities for the mapping and management of these agricultural risks. Similarly, these vision systems open other possibilities for farm robotics such as mechanical rather than manual pesticide usage for below crop canopy pest surveying.

Key words: crop, remote sensing, pests and diseases, monitoring, future prospects

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