Corn Stand Count in Beta
With the cold and rainy weather that much of the corn belt has experienced this year, it’s critical to monitor corn germination and emergence.
Corn stand count from drone imagery can drive management decisions:
- Should I replant a portion of my field?
- How is my planter set-up working? Do I have skips or double plants?
- Did I achieve population planting goals?
Agribotix has a corn stand count product in Beta, and are looking for growers or agronomists who’d like to participate in early trials of the product.
For this application to work, you’ll need to fly with different flight parameters than those used for generating stitched orthomosaics.
Here’s rough guidelines:
- Mount your imaging camera so that it’s downward-looking. See the figure below for an example of the imagery you’re looking to acquire.
- 10 to 20 meter flight altitude. You recommend that you use a multi-rotor like the Enduro. Fixed wing **could** work, but flying at the low altitudes needed to ‘see’ the corn plants with a fixed wing is risky. Also, a fixed wing will vary in altitude during flight much more than a multi-rotor, and controlling for altitude is critical for this application.
- Fly a lawnmower pattern, as usual
- Ground speed at 12 meters/second
- Acquire a picture every 2 seconds or so
- 400 ISO
- Geotagged photos are a requirement
- Overlap is minimal (10%) – This will allow you to cover more area
Please Contact Us if you’d like to try out Agribotix Stand Count and we can work with you to plan your flight.
Here’s a list of some common emergence problems growers can encounter (from Croplife and OSU):
- No seed present: Thomison said this might be caused by a planter malfunction or the result of bird or rodent damage. If a bird or rodent causes the issue, signs of digging or seed or plant parts will be near the site.
- Coleoptile or shoot unfurled, leafing-out underground: These issues could be due to premature exposure to light in cloddy soil, planting too deep, compaction or soil crusting, or extended exposure to acetanilide herbicides under cool, wet conditions. Extended wet conditions alone could also cause the problem, he said.
- Seed that has swelled but not sprouted: Poor seed-to-soil contact or shallow planting could result in a seed that has swelled then dried out. Growers should check seed furrow closure in no-till.
- Skips associated with discolored and malformed seedlings: This could be caused by herbicide damage. To assess the issue, take note of the depth of planting and herbicides applied compared with injury symptoms such as twisted roots, club roots or purple plants.
- Seeds hollowed out: Seed corn maggot or wireworm could cause this issue. Look for evidence of the pest to confirm.
- Uneven emergence: This may be due to soil moisture and temperature variability within the seed zone; poor seed-to-soil contact caused by cloddy soils; soil crusting or shallow planting. Feeding by various grub species can also result in uneven emergence.
Here’s some examples of imagery we’ve been working with this spring:
Imagery acquired over an emergent corn field in South Texas. Corn plants are v1 – v2 stage. For imagery you acquire, you’ll want to be able to easily identify corn plants visually in the images.
Emergent corn detection over a field in South Texas. Green blobs mark locations of identified corn plants. Agribotix machine vision algorithms reduce false positive identification.
An example over Colorado corn. This sample shows our general-purpose corn detection algorithm that’s working to discriminate corn from adjacent weeds. These are promising results that we’re working to refine to reduce false positive and false negative detections.