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Global Research Trends for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing Application in Wheat Crop Monitoring

Published: 25 January 2023
 by  MDPI

Abstract: Wheat is an important staple crop in the global food chain. The production of wheat in many regions is constrained by the lack of use of advanced technologies for wheat monitoring. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is an important platform in remote sensing for providing near real-time farm-scale information. This information aids in making recommendations for monitoring and improving crop management to ensure food security. This study appraised global scientific research trends on wheat and UAV studies between 2005 and 2021, using a bibliometric method. The 398 published documents were mined from Web of Science, Scopus, and Dimensions. Results showed that an annual growth rate of 23.94% indicates an increase of global research based on wheat and UAVs for the surveyed period. The results revealed that China and USA were ranked as the top most productive countries, and thus their dominance in UAVs extensive usage and research developments for wheat monitoring during the study period. Additionally, results showed a low countries research collaboration prevalent trend, with only China and Australia managing multiple country publications. Thus, most of the wheat- and UAV-related studies were based on intra-country publications. Moreover, the results showed top publishing journals, top cited documents, Zipf’s law authors keywords co-occurrence network, thematic evolution, and spatial distribution map with the lack of research outputs from Southern Hemisphere. The findings of also show that “UAV” is fundamental in all keywords with the largest significant appearance in the field. This connotes that UAV efficiency was important for most studies that were monitoring wheat and provided vital information on spatiotemporal changes and variability for crop management. Findings from this study may be useful in policy-making decisions related to the adoption and subsidizing of UAV operations for different crop management strategies designed to enhance crop yield and the direction of future studies.
Keywords: wheat / unmanned aerial vehicle / bibliometrics / monitoring / production

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