How to Survey Closed-Canopy Corn
Image stitching software uses reference points in the various images to mesh them together at the correct orientation. When dealing with a field where the texture is consistent and there are no unique reference points, this software has it’s work cut out for it. Case in point is late-season corn. The plants are lush and the canopies have ‘closed’, making the individual rows hard to discern from an aerial view. This has resulted in image stitching failures, in which our final orthomosaics have large holes in the centers. Our software simply hasn’t had enough image detail to stitch these central areas.
This problem can be solved by a simple adjustment of the camera interval rate. Typically, Agribotix recommends 2 seconds as the standard rate, which is normally effective for image stitching and allows for quick uploads to Farm Lens. Unfortunately, it is not sufficient for stitching dense field textures such as closed-canopy corn. The solution we have found is to increase the interval rate to 1 second. This tighter image arrangement allows our software to handle the dense corn texture. The downside is that your photo sets will be twice the size, filling your SD card faster and taking longer to upload. We recommend only using an increased interval when needed.