Remote sensing imaging as a tool to support mulberry cultivation for silk production
In recent decades there has been an increasing use of remotely sensed data for precision agricultural purposes. Sericulture, the activity of rearing silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) larvae to produce silk in the form of cocoons, is an agricultural practice that has rarely used remote sensing techniques but that could benefit from them. The aim of this work was to investigate the possibility of using satellite imaging in order to monitor leaf harvesting in mulberry (Morus alba L.) plants cultivated for feeding silkworms; additionally, quantitative parameters on silk cocoon production were related to the analyses on vegetation indices. Adopting PlanetScope satellite images, four M. alba fields were monitored from the beginning of the silkworm rearing season until its end in 2020 and 2021. The results of our work showed that a decrease in the multispectral vegetation indices in the mulberry plots due to leaf harvesting was correlated with the different parameters of silk cocoons spun by silkworm larvae; in particular, a decrease in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) had high correlations with quantitative silk cocoon production parameters (R2 values up to 0.56, p < 0.05). These results led us to the conclusion that precision agriculture can improve sericultural practice, offering interesting solutions for estimating the quantity of produced silk cocoons through the remote analysis of mulberry fields.
Journal or Serie
Remote Sensing, 2022, vol. 14, núm. 21, p. 1-16