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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Satelite Imagery for Small Plot Research and Precision Farming - Nitrogen Relationships in Irrigated Corn

Authors
item Cipra, Jan - CUS, FORT COLLINS, CO
item Halvorson, Ardell

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2004
Publication Date: March 1, 2004
Citation: Cipra, J., Halvorson, A.D. 2004. Satelite imagery for small plot research and precision farming - nitrogen relationships in irrigated corn. Symposium Proceedings. 10: 97-103.

Interpretive Summary: The QuickBird satellite launched in late 2001 provides high-resolution imagery with potential for use in predicting N status of crops, crop yield potential, and development of N management zones for site-specific farming. In this study, we evaluated if the high-resolution digital images from the QuickBird satellite had potential use in predicting irrigated corn biomass and grain yields and available soil N status at corn planting as indicated by leaf color on 27 July 2002 from research sized plot areas. Irrigated continuous corn plots with two tillage systems, conventional till and no-till, and five N rates were used in our evaluation. Overall, the strongest relationships with corn yields were obtained using the green (520-600 nm) and red (630-690 nm) wavelength band digital number (DN) and NIR/red ratio values for both tillage systems and N treatments. Resulting green DN values correlated strongly with level of available N at planting. No relationships (r2 < 0.02) were found between near infrared (NIR) wavelength band and corn yields or available N. The results indicated that the QuickBird satellite imagery has potential for use in small plot research, developing N management zones in fields, and predicting irrigated corn grain and biomass yields.

Technical Abstract: High quality satellite imagery that recently became available may be useful for predicting the N status of crops, need for additional N fertilization, and crop yield potential. Our objective was to determine if the high-resolution digital images from the QuickBird' satellite launched in late 2001 had potential in predicting irrigated corn biomass and grain yields and available N at planting as indicated by leaf color on 27 July 2002 from conventional till and no-till research size plot areas. Overall, the strongest relationships with corn yields were obtained using the green (520-600 nm) and red (630-690 nm) wavelength band digital number (DN) values and NIR/red ratio values for both tillage and continuous corn N treatments. Weaker relationships were obtained with the blue and panchromatic DN values and corn yield. Except for near infrared (NIR), resulting DN values correlated fairly well with the level of available N at planting. No relationships (r2 < 0.12) were found between NIR wavelength band (760-900 nm) and corn yields or available N. Results indicated that the QuickBird' satellite imagery has potential for use in small plot research, developing N management zones for site-specific farming, and predicting irrigated corn grain and biomass yields.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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