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Crop Agriculture

Landsat 8 Soybean Yield Raster (Download) Background

Link to Download: Landsat 8 Soybean Yield Raster: Eastern Illinois/Western Indiana; 8/4/16

Data Background & Usage Information (important to read before downloading): This is a new download (launched in November, 2016) that provides access to a Landsat (satellite imagery) raster that have been converted to soybean yield (bu/ac) - when you click on a pixel in GIS software, a yield amount will appear.

The closer the image date is to R3-R4 stages for a field of interest, the closer pixel values should be to actual yield quantity. As an imagery date represents a time further from R3-R4 stages, yield difference amount (variability) throughout a field should increasingly be emphasized, as opposed to the absolute yield quantity (differences become more accurate than quantity). Relatively higher and lower areas of yield within a field are reliable for the longest amount of time.

For many reasons, satellite imagery, including Landsat with its 30 x 30 meter pixel size, has more useful applications for soybeans than many other crops. (For correlation information, see the link above and other pages in the Landsat Correlation to Crop Yield folder in the Crop Agriculture section to the left.) Landsat imagery is converted to soybean yield here based on published information and is validated with cleaned/filtered yield monitor data. The soybean yield raster is then multiplied by 100 and truncated to produced an integer raster to greatly reduce file size (the USGS also provided four-digit integer raster for their surface reflectance products) - for example, 5284 represents 52.84 bu/a (you can divide the yield rasters by 100 in GIS software to convert it back to a floating point raster). The download also includes corresponding band 1 imagery for cloud detection (the soybean raster itself can be used for shadow detection), LandsatLook natural color image (a quality image [QB file] is also provided for the LandsatLook imager; the following site provides information about this:, as well as Thermal Infrared Imagery. There are also state and county layers for location purposes. You can download a road layer for more detailed location information at the following website: You will need GIS software to view the data - free GIS software can be accessed in the folder to the left or use can use software, such as ArcGIS. OPEN THE YIELD RASTER, BAND 1, OR IMAGES IN THE LANDSATLOOK FOLDER FIRST IN GIS (DO NOT OPEN THE STATE OR COUNTY FILES FIRST). It is highly recommended that you use high-resolution imagery of the field/s of interest in conjunction with the Landsat data - high-resolution imagery can be downloaded through the USGS National Map Viewer page in the Data Sources folder in the Free section to the left. Landsat 7 can also be processed, and may be the only clear imagery for the proper time, but (since 2003) has had stripings of missing data that may cross a particular field. There may or may not be cloud and shadow free imagery for a particular field.