Using aerial imagery and digital photography to monitor growth and yield in winter wheat Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019, 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Monitoring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) performance throughout the growing season provides information on productivity and yield potential. Remote sensing tools have provided easy and quick measurements without destructive sampling. The objective of this study was to evaluate genetic variability in growth and performance of 20 wheat genotypes under two water regimes (rainfed and irrigated), using spectral vegetation indices (SVI) estimated from aerial imagery and percentage ground cover (%GC) estimated from digital photos. Field experiments were conducted at Bushland, Texas in two growing seasons (20142015 and 20152016). Digital photographs were taken using a digital camera in each plot, while a manned aircraft collected images of the entire field using a 12-band multiple camera array Tetracam system at three growth stages (tillering, jointing and heading). Results showed that a significant variation exists in SVI, %GC, aboveground biomass and yield among the wheat genotypes mostly at tillering and jointing. Significant relationships for %GC from digital photo at jointing was recorded with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) at tillering (coefficient of determination, R2 = 0.84, p< 0.0001) and with %GC estimated from Perpendicular Vegetation Index (PVI) at tillering (R2 = 0.83, p< 0.0001). Among the indices, Ratio Vegetation Index (RVI), Green-Red VI, Green Leaf Index (GLI), Generalized DVI (squared), DVI, Enhanced VI, Enhanced NDVI, and NDVI explained 3799% of the variability in aboveground biomass and yield. Results indicate that these indices could be used as an indirect selection tool for screening a large number of early-generation and advanced wheat lines.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Olanrewaju, S., Rajan, N., Ibrahim, A., Rudd, J. C., Liu, S., Sui, R., Jessup, K. E., & Xue, Q.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Olanrewaju, Sarah||Rajan, Nithya||Ibrahim, Amir MH||Rudd, Jackie C||Liu, Shuyu||Sui, Ruixiu||Jessup, Kirk E||Xue, Qingwu

publication date

  • September 2019