Although the information on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in plants under water deficit is often obtained from sensors attached to satellites, the increasing data acquisition with portable sensors has wide applicability in agricultural production because it is a fast, nondestructive method, and is less prone to interference problems. Thus, we carried out a set of experiments to investigate the influence of time, spatial plant arrangements, sampling size, height of the sensor and water regimes on NDVI readings in different soybean cultivars in greenhouse and field trials during the crop seasons 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14. In experiments where plants were always evaluated under well-watered conditions, we observed that 9 a.m. was the most suitable time for NDVI readings regardless of the soybean cultivar, spatial arrangement or environment. Furthermore, there was no difference among NDVI readings in relation to the sampling size, regardless of the date or cultivar. We also observed that NDVI tended to decrease according to the higher height of the sensor in relation to the canopy top, with higher values tending to be at 0.8 m, but with no significant difference relative to 1.0 m—the height we adopted in our experiments. When different water regimes were induced under field conditions, NDVI readings measured at 9 a.m. by using a portable sensor were successful to differentiate soybean cultivars with contrasting responses to drought.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 16, 2016
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