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Abstract


Monitoring sunflower and maize canopy under alternative nitrogen regimes with lidar and proximity sensors
Crop fertilization is an important cost and energy use issue in agriculture. The opportunity to apply variable rates of nitrogen fertilizers according to the plant needs is a promising potential to increase the efficiency of the fertilization. An experiment was established in 2016 in the farm of University of Thessaly, Greece in order to evaluate the perspective to use lidar and/or proximity sensors to monitor the crop canopy for two arable crops, sunflower and maize. The canopy development can serve as a good indicator for the nutrition state of the crops regarding the nitrogen. The experiment included plots full fertilized and fertilized at different rates (100% N, 50% N and 0% N) in order to obtain plants with alternative canopy development and conduct the necessary measurements. Indeed the manually measured plant height and weight revealed this effect. The best fertilized plants were higher and more vigor. The results also showed that the lidar sensor was more able to detect the canopy development compared with the proximity sensor. Plant height and plant volume were sufficiently assessed for the sunflower crop by sensor. For the maize the sensor was able to estimate only the plant height. The lidar sensor is capable to detect sufficiently more than one crop rows and compensate for the relatively low sampling rate and improve accuracy.

Keywords
Lidar sensor,Proximity sensor,Canopy height,Fertilization,Sunflower,Maize


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