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Sensors 2012, 12(6), 7529-7547; doi:10.3390/s120607529

Estimating Sugarcane Yield Potential Using an In-Season Determination of Normalized Difference Vegetative Index

2,* , 2
1 Macon Ridge Research Station, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Winnsboro, LA 71295, USA 2 School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Science, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Baton Rouge, LA 70801, USA 3 Carrington Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University, Carrington, ND 58421, USA 4 Iberia Research Station, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Jeanerette, LA 70544, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 April 2012 / Revised: 24 May 2012 / Accepted: 27 May 2012 / Published: 4 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor-Based Technologies and Processes in Agriculture and Forestry)
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Estimating crop yield using remote sensing techniques has proven to be successful. However, sugarcane possesses unique characteristics; such as, a multi-year cropping cycle and plant height-limiting for midseason fertilizer application timing. Our study objective was to determine if sugarcane yield potential could be estimated using an in-season estimation of normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI). Sensor readings were taken using the GreenSeeker® handheld sensor from 2008 to 2011 in St. Gabriel and Jeanerette, LA, USA. In-season estimates of yield (INSEY) values were calculated by dividing NDVI by thermal variables. Optimum timing for estimating sugarcane yield was between 601–750 GDD. In-season estimated yield values improved the yield potential (YP) model compared to using NDVI. Generally, INSEY value showed a positive exponential relationship with yield (r2 values 0.48 and 0.42 for cane tonnage and sugar yield, respectively). When models were separated based on canopy structure there was an increase the strength of the relationship for the erectophile varieties (r2 0.53 and 0.47 for cane tonnage and sugar yield, respectively); however, the model for planophile varieties weakened slightly. Results of this study indicate using an INSEY value for predicting sugarcane yield shows potential of being a valuable management tool for sugarcane producers in Louisiana.
Keywords: sugarcane; nitrogen; NDVI; precision agriculture sugarcane; nitrogen; NDVI; precision agriculture
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Lofton, J.; Tubana, B.S.; Kanke, Y.; Teboh, J.; Viator, H.; Dalen, M. Estimating Sugarcane Yield Potential Using an In-Season Determination of Normalized Difference Vegetative Index. Sensors 2012, 12, 7529-7547.

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