UAS imaging for automated crop lodging detection: a case study over an experimental maize field Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2017 SPIE. Lodging has been recognized as one of the major destructive factors for crop quality and yield, particularly in corn. A variety of contributing causes, e.g. disease and/or pest, weather conditions, excessive nitrogen, and high plant density, may lead to lodging before harvesting season. Traditional lodging detection strategies mainly rely on ground data collection, which is insufficient in efficiency and accuracy. To address this problem, this research focuses on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for automated detection of crop lodging. The study was conducted over an experimental corn field at the Texas A and M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Corpus Christi, Texas, during the growing season of 2016. Nadir-view images of the corn field were taken by small UAS platforms equipped with consumer grade RGB and NIR cameras on a per week basis, enabling a timely observation of the plant growth. 3D structural information of the plants was reconstructed using structure-from-motion photogrammetry. The structural information was then applied to calculate crop height, and rates of growth. A lodging index for detecting corn lodging was proposed afterwards. Ground truth data of lodging was collected on a per row basis and used for fair assessment and tuning of the detection algorithm. Results show the UAS-measured height correlates well with the ground-measured height. More importantly, the lodging index can effectively reflect severity of corn lodging and yield after harvesting.

name of conference

  • Autonomous Air and Ground Sensing Systems for Agricultural Optimization and Phenotyping II

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Chu, T., Starek, M. J., Brewer, M. J., Masiane, T., & Murray, S. C.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Chu, Tianxing||Starek, Michael J||Brewer, Michael J||Masiane, Tiisetso||Murray, Seth C

editor list (cited editors)

  • Thomasson, J. A., McKee, M., & Moorhead, R. J.

publication date

  • January 2017