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Jim Johnson serves as a senior soils and crops consultant at Noble Research Institute, where he has worked since 1999. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in soil science from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in agronomy from Oklahoma State University, he worked in various plant breeding programs in Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma. His interests are cover crops and soil health.The Noble Research Institute is testing dozens of cover crop species with potential to help build soil health in the Southern Great Plains. This series features the cover crops we've grown on our Headquarters Farm in southern Oklahoma. These videos explore our results on establishment and growth, ground cover potential, and weed control for each crop.
Crop improvement efforts are targeting increased above-ground biomass and radiation-use efficiency as drivers for greater yield. Early ground cover and canopy height contribute to biomass production, but manual measurements of these traits, and in particular above-ground biomass, are slow and labor-intensive, more so when made at multiple developmental stages. These constraints limit the ability to capture these data in a temporal fashion, hampering insights that could be gained from multi-dimensional data. Here we demonstrate the capacity of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), mounted on a lightweight, mobile, ground-based platform, for rapid multi-temporal and non-destructive estimation of canopy height, ground cover and above-ground biomass. Field validation of LiDAR measurements is presented. For canopy height, strong relationships with LiDAR of 0.99 and root mean square error of 0.017 m) were obtained. Ground cover was estimated from LiDAR using two methodologies: red reflectance image and canopy height. In contrast to NDVI, LiDAR was not affected by saturation at high ground cover, and the comparison of both LiDAR methodologies showed strongassociation.
Slope = 1.02) at ground cover above 0.8. For above-ground biomass, a dedicated field experiment was performed with destructive biomass sampled eight times across different developmental stages. Two methodologies are presented for the estimation of biomass from LiDAR: 3D voxel index (3DVI) and 3D profile index (3DPI). The parameters involved in the calculation of 3DVI and 3DPI were optimized for each sample event from tillering to maturity, as well as generalized for any developmental stage. Individual sample point predictions were strong while predictions across all eight sample events, provided the strongest association with biomass.The rate of genetic gain per year for yield potential of wheat over the last two decades has stabilized at <1% per annum (Reynolds et al., 1999; Fischer et al., 2012). Various interventions have been proposed to maintain or improve this rate. Field phenomics, with its potential to non-destructively and remotely-sense crop traits associated with performance in a high-throughput fashion (White et al., 2012; Araus and Cairns, 2014; Deery et al., 2014, 2016; Rebetzke et al., 2016; Shakoor et al., 2017), has gained more attention as a promising intervention in recent years. Key physical parameters that are targets for field phenomics include canopy height, early ground cover, distribution, and maintenance of green leaf area, and biomass production. (Source: www.frontiersin.org)
1) A high-frequency laser scanner or LiDAR. The model selected (SICK LMS 400-2000, SICK AG, Waldkirch, Germany) works on the phase-shift principle for estimating the distance. Light with a given wavelength that travels to an object and then back will be shifted in phase compared to the emitted light, being the phase-shift proportional to the distance between the sensor and the object. The laser operates at 650 nm (visible red light) and 4 mW of power, generating a spot diameter of ca. 2 mm at 3 m distance. The scanning rate is 270 Hz with an angular resolution 0.1°.
Field phenotyping still remains a bottleneck in the pipeline of high throughput phenotyping (Araus and Cairns, 2014), where limited options are readily available for performing measurements of physiological traits at a large scale (Furbank and Tester, 2011). The Phenomobile Lite was designed for routine operation in large field experiments and breeding trials and deployment in such applications has clear advantages over current practice. For example, the Phenomobile Lite is easily transported to the field, thereby overcoming a major limitation of fixed phenotyping platforms where experiments are constrained to their occupied space (Kirchgessner et al., 2017; Virlet et al., 2016). When operated at walking speed, the Phenomobile Lite can measure multiple traits simultaneously on ~800 10 m (Source: www.frontiersin.org)