Heat stress can destroy yields, and researchers on the University of Missouri and USDA Agricultural Research Service have discovered a means to assist farmers in establishing hot plants. They’ve mixed an everyday digital camera with a miniature infrared camera that gives temperature data and images.
While farmers can use infrared sensors, that are less expensive than a high-powered infrared camera, they don’t present photographs. The system created by Missouri researchers offers considerable data to farmers that can be used to tell irrigation decisions.
“Utilizing an infrared camera to monitor crop temperature could be difficult because it’s difficult to differentiate between the vegetation and background parts like soil or shade,” mentioned Ken Sudduth, USDA agricultural engineer and professor of bioengineering at MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “By augmenting a small infrared camera with a digital camera, we created a system that can look at crop temperatures with great detail and accuracy.”
The new cameras produce two images from the same space, a visually detailed photograph, and an infrared picture. They’ve named it the Multi-Band System for Imaging of a Crop Canopy, and it might help farmers to identify problem areas from images, overlaid with infrared images.
Because the system makes use of an algorithm that filters soil, shade, and something that isn’t the plant out of the images. This helps farmers decide what they should irrigate their crops according to the specific needs of the person crops, allowing them to maximize yields and optimize water use.
However, researchers say the system needs more fine-tuning before it may be sold to farmers.