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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313708

Research Project: IMPROVING IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT FOR HUMID AND SUB-HUMID CLIMATES

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) variation among cultivars and environments

Author
item Vories, Earl - Earl
item Jones, Andrea - University Of Missouri

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2015
Publication Date: 5/1/2015
Citation: Vories, E.D., Jones, A. 2015. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) variation among cultivars and environments. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference, January 5-7, 2015, San Antonio, Texas. p. 398-402.

Interpretive Summary: Although Nitrogen (N) is an essential nutrient for crop production, large preplant applications of fertilizer N can result in off-field loss that causes environmental concerns. Canopy reflectance is being investigated for use in variable rate N management and the data are relatively easy to collect. Furthermore, the amount of data available to farmers is expected to increase with the large numbers of unmanned aerial vehicles anticipated for agricultural use. However, given the large number of cotton varieties and the relatively quick turnover, little is known about how commercial varieties vary in their response. Researchers with ARS and the University of Missouri at Portageville conducted a study to compare values among cotton varieties in the Missouri cotton Official Variety Test (OVT). While differences were observed, this initial comparison did not indicate large differences within the same location and correlations with yield showed fairly consistent values, although additional years of observations will be needed to better understand the relationships. This research will benefit cotton producers by providing information to help them fine-tune their fertilizer applications and everyone will benefit from the environmental impact of fewer excess nitrogen applications.

Technical Abstract: Although Nitrogen (N) is an essential nutrient for crop production, large preplant applications of fertilizer N can result in off-field loss that causes environmental concerns. Canopy reflectance is being investigated for use in variable rate (VR) N management. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data, calculated from reflectance, are relatively easy to collect. Furthermore, the amount of NDVI data available to farmers is expected to increase with the large numbers of unmanned aerial vehicles anticipated for agricultural use. However, given the large number of cotton varieties and the relatively quick turnover, little is known about how commercial varieties vary in their NDVI response. The objective of this study was to compare NDVI readings among 31 cotton varieties growing in a range of environments in the Missouri cotton Official Variety Test (OVT). Cotton was planted in early May and NDVI sensing was conducted in mid-July at four sites. Since the data were all from 2014, environmental effect among sites was primarily associated with soil differences. The findings suggest that the study at one site had smaller plants and more variability, which is consistent with visual observations. While differences were observed in the NDVI values, this initial comparison did not indicate large differences within a site. Correlations with yield comparing a single variety across environments, analogous to many Mid-South field situations, showed fairly consistent values, but additional years of observations will be needed to better understand the relationships observed in this study.