Researchers program drone to spot PVY in potatoes

John O'Connell, Capital Press
February 06, 2017
By John O'Connell, Capital Press

Researchers say they’ve pinpointed individual spud plants infected with potato virus Y with 90 percent accuracy, using hyperspectral cameras mounted on drones. 

Donna Delparte, an assistant professor of geosciences at Idaho State University, and graduate student Mike Griffel have successfully tested a “computer-learning” algorithm they developed to tease out PVY from spectral imaging “background noise,” such as field variability and unrelated crop stress.

“Our premise was to look at all of these wavelengths of light the human eye can’t see and look for differences between healthy plants and plants infected with PVY,” Griffel said, adding their images had leaf-scale resolution.

Griffel said the project detected disease well before potato crops reached the row-closure stage, far earlier than people can spot symptoms of PVY by scouting fields. 

To develop their algorithm, they compiled crop data in fields over three seasons, ending in 2016. The researchers first analyzed fields from the ground with a high-tech camera capable of recording 100 bands of the light spectrum.

After studying the images, they selected the 15 most useful bands for identifying PVY based on its unique light reflection. Delparte programmed more basic hyperspectral cameras mounted on drones to detect those bands while surveying the same potato fields from the air. | READ MORE

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

South West Ag Conference
Wed Jan 03, 2018
Potato Expo 2018
Wed Jan 10, 2018
Ag Days
Tue Jan 16, 2018