Research Papers

High-biomass sorghum yield estimate with aerial imagery

[+] Author Affiliations
Ruixiu Sui

USDA-ARS Crop Production Research Unit, P. O. Box 350, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776

Brandon E. Hartley, John M. Gibson, J. Alex Thomasson, Stephen W. Searcy

Texas A&M University, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, College Station, Texas 77843

Chenghai Yang

USDA-ARS Kika de la Garza Subtropical Agricultural Research Center, Weslaco, Texas 78596

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 5(1), 053523 (May 09, 2011). doi:10.1117/1.3586795
History: Received April 06, 2011; Revised April 12, 2011; Accepted April 13, 2011; Published May 09, 2011; Online May 09, 2011
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To reach the goals laid out by the U.S. Government for displacing fossil fuels with biofuels, high-biomass sorghum is well-suited to achieving this goal because it requires less water per unit dry biomass and can produce very high biomass yields. In order to make biofuels economically competitive with fossil fuels it is essential to maximize production efficiency throughout the system. The goal of this study was to use remote sensing technologies to optimize the yield and harvest logistics of high-biomass sorghum with respect to production costs based on spatial variability within and among fields. Specific objectives were to compare yield to aerial multispectral imagery and develop predictive relationships. A 19.2-ha high-biomass sorghum field was selected as a study site and aerial multispectral images were acquired with a four-camera imaging system on July 17, 2009. Sorghum plant samples were collected at predetermined geographic coordinates to determine biomass yield. Aerial images were processed to find relationships between image reflectance and yield of the biomass sorghum. Results showed that sorghum biomass yield in early August was closely related (R2 = 0.76) to spectral reflectance. However, in the late season the correlations between the biomass yield and spectral reflectance were not as positive as in the early season. The eventual outcome of this work could lead to predicted-yield maps based on remotely sensed images, which could be used in developing field management practices to optimize yield and harvest logistics.

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© 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)


Ruixiu Sui ; Brandon E. Hartley ; John M. Gibson ; Chenghai Yang ; J. Alex Thomasson, et al.
"High-biomass sorghum yield estimate with aerial imagery", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 5(1), 053523 (May 09, 2011). ;

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