Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370291

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Cropping Systems on Spatially Variable Landscapes and Soils

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: On the go spectroscopy and sensor data fusion for soil health assessment

item Veum, Kristen
item Sudduth, Kenneth - Ken

Submitted to: Eastern Analytical Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/18/2019
Publication Date: 11/19/2019
Citation: Veum, K.S., Sudduth, K.A. 2019. On the go spectroscopy and sensor data fusion for soil health assessment [abstract]. Eastern Analytical Symposium, November 18-20, 2019, Princeton, New Jersey. Oral presentation.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Assessment of soil health involves determining how well a soil is performing its biological, chemical, and physical functions relative to its inherent potential. Due to high cost, labor requirements, and soil disturbance, traditional laboratory analyses cannot provide high resolution soil health data. Therefore, sensor-based approaches are important to facilitate cost-effective, site-specific management for soil health. In the Central Claypan Region of Missouri, USA, visible and near-infrared (VNIR) diffuse reflectance spectroscopy has successfully been used to estimate biological components of soil health as well as Soil Management Assessment Framework (SMAF) scores. In contrast, estimation models for important chemical and physical aspects of soil health have been less successful with VNIR spectroscopy. The primary objective of this study was to apply a sensor fusion approach to estimate soil health indicators and SMAF scores using VNIR spectroscopy in conjunction with soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa), and penetration resistance measured by cone penetrometer (i.e., cone index, CI). Soil health measurements and VNIR spectral data were obtained in the laboratory, while CI and ECa data were obtained in situ. Calibration models were developed with partial least squares (PLS) regression and model performance was evaluated using coefficient of determination (R2), root mean square error (RMSE), residual prediction deviation (RPD), and the ratio of prediction error to interquartile range (RPIQ). Models integrating ECa and CI with VNIR reflectance data improved estimates of the overall SMAF score relative to VNIR alone, reducing RMSE by 14%. Improved models were also achieved for estimates of the individual chemical, biological, and physical soil health scores, demonstrating reductions in RMSE of 2.8, 5.4, and 10.0%, respectively. The results of this study illustrate the potential for rapid quantification of soil health by fusing VNIR sensors with auxiliary data obtained from complementary sensors.