Multispectral reflectance of emerging cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and corn (Zeamays) seedlings was measured during the 2000 and 2001 growing seasons. Reflectance in blue, green, red, and near infrared (NIR) wave lengths was used to detect seedling emergence, to monitor leaf area growth, and to measure the effect of bare soil reflectance on scene (bare soil and seedlings) reflectance. Cotton and corn seedlings were detected 1 day after initial emergence (1 DAE) in 2000 by the red band. The red band detected seedlings in 2001 at 9 and 8 DAE in early and late planted corn, respectively, and on 0 DAE for cotton. The normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI) detected seedlings at 1 DAE or 2 DAE in both years. Seedling ground cover in 2000 on the initial detection date in the target areas averaged 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively, for cotton and corn; comparable values in 2001 for cotton, early planted corn, and late planted corn, were 1.4%, 0.4%, and 0.8%, respectively. The red wave band was the most sensitive single band for detecting the presence of seedlings, but NDVI was the most sensitive spectral indicator, which was apparently due to the red band since the NIR band did not always detect seedlings. Seedling leaf area was linearly correlated with NDVI values beginning at 1 or 2 DAE. Bare soil was the major component of the scene during stand establishment and dominated single band reflectance and NDVI values. A dry soil surface that was smoothed and sealed by rain usually caused single band reflectance to increase. The high variability in spectral characteristics of bare soil restricted the interpretation of the spectral data to concluding whether or not seedlings were emerging, but without estimating numbers and seedling size.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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