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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #363684

Research Project: Agroecosystem Benefits from the Development and Application of New Management Technologies in Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Agroecosystems Management Research

Title: Photography to monitor multi-species cover crops and weeds

item Logsdon, Sally
item Cambardella, Cynthia

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2019
Publication Date: 11/11/2019
Citation: Logsdon, S.D., Cambardella, C.A. 2019. Photography to monitor multi-species cover crops and weeds. Meeting Abstract. In: Proceedings of ASA-CSSA-SSSA annual meeting in San Antonio, TX, Nov. 10-13, 2019.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Photographic images have long been used to monitor crop growth, but analysis of the images may be difficult when multiple cover crop types and mixed weeds are present. The purpose of this study was to monitor cover crops and weeds from manual classification of points in photographic images. After oats, cover crop mixes were planted (oat and field pea and cabbage, rye and hairy vetch and cabbage, or oat and red clover). Photographs were taken with a camera attached to a pole around 6.5 m above the ground. Plant heights were measured for each type of cover crop and generally for grass and broadleaf weeds. The photographs were analyzed by SamplePoint so each point could be classified as grass cover crop, legume cover crop, cabbage cover crop, composite cover crop, grass weed, broadleaf weed, residue, or soil. Fraction coverage was combined with the plant height to determine leaf area index according to the procedure of Logsdon and Cambardella. The technique worked well to monitor the cover crop development. The limitation of the procedure was that each point could only be classified one way. Sometimes the peas grew around the cabbage cover crop, which skewed the fractions toward greater pea and less cabbage cover.