Reflectance factor data were acquired with a Landsat band radiometer throughout two growing seasons for corn (Zea mays L.) canopies differing in planting dates, populations, and soil types. Agronomic data collected included leaf area index (LAI), biomass, development stage, and final grain yields. The spectral variable, greenness, was associated with 78 percent of the variation in LAI over all treatments. Single observations of LAI or greenness have limited value in predicting corn yields. The proportions of solar radiation intercepted (SRI) by these canopies were estimated using either measured LAI or greenness. Both SRI estimates, when accumulated over the growing season, accounted for approximately 65 percent of the variation in yields. Models which simulated the daily effects of weather and intercepted solar radiation on growth had the highest correlations to grain yields. This concept of estimating intercepted solar radiation using spectral data represents a viable approach for merging spectral and meteorological data for crop yield models.
EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING