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Use of Optical Remote Sensing for Detecting Herbicide Injury in Soybean

  • Kurt D. Thelen (a1), A. N. Kravchenko (a1) and Chad D. Lee (a1)


Experiments were conducted from 2000 to 2002 at two locations each year to determine if lactofen and imazethapyr injury to soybean could be detected using digital aerial imagery and ground-based optical remote sensing. Lactofen and imazethapyr were applied at base rates of 105 and 71 g/ha, respectively, and at 0, 2X, and 4X rates. Treated plots were evaluated between 7 and 21 d after treatment for crop injury using a ground-based radiometer and a system using computer analysis of digital aerial imagery. Both the ground-based radiometer and the digital aerial imagery were effective in detecting herbicide injury under most conditions. The digital aerial imagery system was found to be more sensitive in detecting herbicide injury than the ground-based radiometer system. Herbicide or herbicide rate had a significant effect on normalized differential vegetation indices (NDVI) derived from digital aerial imagery in four of four site-years. NDVI values derived from a multispectral ground-based radiometer were significant for herbicide or herbicide rate in four of six site-years. NDVI values from treated plots were subtracted from the NDVI value of the untreated check to generate a ΔNDVI. The resulting ΔNDVI values from the ground-based radiometer system were significant for herbicide or herbicide rate in six of six site-years. Neither optical remote-sensing system was effective at estimating actual application rates of lactofen and imazethapyr across a broad range of field and weather conditions due to temporal and spatial variability in crop response to the herbicides.


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