Active crop canopy sensors can be used for non-destructive real-time diagnosis of crop nitrogen (N) status and guiding in-season N management. However, limited studies have compared the performances of two commercially available sensors with three different wavebands: Crop Circle ACS-470 (CC-470) and Crop Circle ACS-430 (CC-430). The objective of this study was to evaluate the performances of CC-470 and CC-430 sensors for estimating winter wheat (Triticum aestivum
L.) N status at different measurement heights (40 cm, 70 cm and 100 cm) and growth stages. Results indicated that the canopy reflectance values of CC-470 were more affected by height compared to the CC-430 sensor. The normalized difference red edge (NDRE) and red edge chlorophyll index (CIRE
) of CC-430 were stable at the three different measuring heights. The relationships between these indices and the N status indicators were stronger at the Feekes 9–10 stages than the Feekes 6–7 stages for both sensors; however, the CC-430 sensor-based vegetation indices had higher coefficient of determination (R2
) values for both stages. It is concluded that the CC-430 sensor is more reliable than CC-470 for winter wheat N status estimation due to its capability of making height-independent measurements. These results demonstrated the importance of considering the influences of height when using active canopy sensors in field measurements.
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