Cotton canopy reflectance at landscape scale as affected by nitrogen fertilization Academic Article uri icon


  • Multispectral reflectance of crop canopies has potential as an in-season indicator of N status in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). The objectives of this study were to correlate leaf N with reflectance at 16 wavebands from 450 to 1700 nm and to assess the effect of N fertilization on vegetative ratio indices using two bands of reflectance. We also compared regressions of leaf N on ratio indices with partial least squares (PLS) regression using reflectance at 16 wavebands. Reflectance was measured at 50 cm above the canopy at 135 points in a 14-ha field of irrigated cotton at early squaring in the Texas High Plains in 2002 and at an 80-cm height in 2003 and 2004. Leaf N had weak, negative correlation with green reflectance in all 3 yr. Normalized difference vegetative indices (NDVIs) using red (670 nm) or green (550 nm) reflectance were significantly greater in N-fertilized plots than zero-N plots in 2 of 3 yr. However, the NDVIs related poorly or not at all with leaf N, biomass, and lint yield. Leaf N was estimated by PLS regression with three factors having R 2 of 0.64 in 2002 and 2004 when an N fertilizer response was observed. In 2003, there was no added N effect, and the R2 for PLS regression of leaf N was 0.41. The poor correlation between NDVIs and leaf N was not expected, and these results suggest that use of NDVIs to determine need of in-season N may be most successful using well-fertilized areas and the sufficiency index approach. American Society of Agronomy.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Bronson, K. F., Booker, J. D., Keeling, J. W., Boman, R. K., Wheeler, T. A., Lascano, R. J., & Nichols, R. L.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Bronson, KF||Booker, JD||Keeling, JW||Boman, RK||Wheeler, TA||Lascano, RJ||Nichols, RL

publication date

  • January 2005