Starr, J; Zhang, JL; Reid, JS; Roberts, DC (2020). Albedo Impacts of Changing Agricultural Practices in the United States through Space-Borne Analysis. REMOTE SENSING, 12(18), 2887.

Using the collocated Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service's Cropland Data Layer (CDL), the daily albedo of homogenous agricultural fields was derived for 51 common United States field crops by wavelength, sky-type, day of year, crop, and hardiness zone from 2015-2018. This study suggests that crop growth can result in changes in reflectivity up to a factor of 2 at most wavelengths and is unique per crop type in timing and range. Additionally, broadband impacts were studied and found to be less conspicuous than the individual wavelengths, but still significant. The results were used to evaluate a common method of cropland albedo estimation, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a proxy for albedo, and this method was found to have some significant limitations dependent on wavelength and date. Finally, a database of surface albedo variations as a function of growing period is constructed for common field crops to the United States (as well as additional land-cover types). This database can be used to aid both satellite remote-sensing applications and long-term weather modeling efforts by providing a method for parameter adjustments based on crop driven albedo changes, including changes in cropland composition related to commodity markets and other external factors.