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Use of spectral radiance to estimate in-season biomass and grain yield in nitrogen- and water-stressed corn

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Current technologies for measuring plant water status are limited, while recently remote sensing techniques for estimating N status have increased with limited research on the interaction between the two stresses. Because plant water status methods are time-consuming and require numerous observations to characterize a field, managers could benefit from remote sensing techniques to assist in irrigation and N management decisions. A 2-yr experiment was initiated to determine specific wavelengths and/or combinations of wavelengths indicative of water stress and N deficiencies, and to evaluate these wavelengths for estimating in-season biomass and corn (Zea mays L.) grain yield. The experiment was a split-plot design with three replications. The treatment structure had five N rates (0, 45, 90, 134, and 269 kg N ha(-1)) and three water treatments [dryland, 0.5 evapotranspiration (ET), and full ET]. Canopy spectral radiance measurements (350-2500 nm) were taken at various growth stages (V6-V7, V13-V16, and V14-R1). Specific wavelengths for estimating crop biomass, N concentration, grain yield, and chlorophyll meter readings changed with growth stage and sampling date. Changes in total N and biomass in the presence of a water stress were estimated using near-infrared (NIR) reflectance and the water absorption bands. Reflectance in the green and NIR regions were used to estimate total N and biomass without water stress. Reflectance at 510, 705, and 1135 nm were found for estimating chlorophyll meter readings regardless of year or sampling date.
Osborne, S.L. , Schepers, J.S. , Francis, D.D. , Schlemmer, M.R.
Includes references
Crop science Jan/Feb 2002. v. 42 (1)
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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