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Detection of Spatial and Temporal Variability of Wheat Cultivars by High-Resolution Vegetation Indices

Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences (DAEFS), University of Molise, Via De Sanctis, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
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Agronomy 2019, 9(5), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9050226
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 May 2019 / Published: 5 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Applications for Agriculture and Crop Modelling)
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Abstract

An on-farm research study was carried out on two small-plots cultivated with two cultivars of durum wheat (Odisseo and Ariosto). The paper presents a theoretical approach for investigating frequency vegetation indices (VIs) in different areas of the experimental plot for early detection of agronomic spatial variability. Four flights were carried out with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to calculate high-resolution normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and optimized soil-adjusted vegetation index (OSAVI) images. Ground agronomic data (biomass, leaf area index (LAI), spikes, plant height, and yield) have been linked to the vegetation indices (VIs) at different growth stages. Regression coefficients of all samplings data were highly significant for both the cultivars and VIs at anthesis and tillering stage. At harvest, the whole plot (W) data were analyzed and compared with two sub-areas characterized by high agronomic performance (H) yield 20% higher than the whole plot, and low performances (L), about 20% lower of yield related to the whole plot). The whole plot and two sub-areas were analyzed backward in time comparing the VIs frequency curves. At anthesis, more than 75% of the surface of H sub-areas showed a VIs value higher than the L sub-plot. The differences were evident also at the tillering and seedling stages, when the 75% (third percentile) of VIs H data was over the 50% (second percentile) of the W curve and over the 25% (first percentile) of L sub-plot. The use of high-resolution images for analyzing the frequency value of VIs in different areas can be a useful approach for the detection of agronomic constraints for precision agriculture purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; vegetation indices; relative frequencies; yield; precision agriculture; cultivars UAV; vegetation indices; relative frequencies; yield; precision agriculture; cultivars
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Marino, S.; Alvino, A. Detection of Spatial and Temporal Variability of Wheat Cultivars by High-Resolution Vegetation Indices. Agronomy 2019, 9, 226.

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