Evaluating Cross-Applicability of Weed Detection Models Across Different Crops in Similar Production Environments. Academic Article uri icon


  • Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have revolutionized the weed detection process with tremendous improvements in precision and accuracy. However, training these models is time-consuming and computationally demanding; thus, training weed detection models for every crop-weed environment may not be feasible. It is imperative to evaluate how a CNN-based weed detection model trained for a specific crop may perform in other crops. In this study, a CNN model was trained to detect morningglories and grasses in cotton. Assessments were made to gauge the potential of the very model in detecting the same weed species in soybean and corn under two levels of detection complexity (levels 1 and 2). Two popular object detection frameworks, YOLOv4 and Faster R-CNN, were trained to detect weeds under two schemes: Detect_Weed (detecting at weed/crop level) and Detect_Species (detecting at weed species level). In addition, the main cotton dataset was supplemented with different amounts of non-cotton crop images to see if cross-crop applicability can be improved. Both frameworks achieved reasonably high accuracy levels for the cotton test datasets under both schemes (Average Precision-AP: 0.83-0.88 and Mean Average Precision-mAP: 0.65-0.79). The same models performed differently over other crops under both frameworks (AP: 0.33-0.83 and mAP: 0.40-0.85). In particular, relatively higher accuracies were observed for soybean than for corn, and also for complexity level 1 than for level 2. Significant improvements in cross-crop applicability were further observed when additional corn and soybean images were added to the model training. These findings provide valuable insights into improving global applicability of weed detection models.

published proceedings

  • Front Plant Sci

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Sapkota, B. B., Hu, C., & Bagavathiannan, M. V.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Sapkota, Bishwa B||Hu, Chengsong||Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar V

publication date

  • January 2022