Yara ImageIT measures crop nitrogen uptake based on green area index (gai) and in oilseed rape will give a nitrogen recommendation.
Turns a smartphone into a high-tech crop nutrient tester
Quickly and easily determine the biomass and the amount of nitrogen taken up by your cereals or oilseed rape both before and after winter
ImageIT is an application for smartphones that evaluates biomass and the amount of nitrogen taken up by your cereal or oilseed rape crops with computer processing of digital photographs.
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How does ImageIT work ?
ImageIT calculates the nitrogen uptake based on leaf cover (leaf area index) , leaf green colour (green area index or gai) and estimated fraction of brown leaves.
The technology behind ImageIT is a comprehensive image analysis that classifies leaf pixels, filters noisy areas and counts leaf pixels. Despite being an advanced agricultural tool ImageIT is user-friendly and flexible in terms of technical requirements.
ImageIT is largely insensitive to camera type and works with low resolution images with a file size as small as 50 – 200 KB.
If your fields are in areas with poor network coverage ImageIT can save the photos on the smartphone so you can carry on taking photographs and then send them later for interpretation when you regain reception.
What crops does ImageIT work in?
ImageIT can currently be used in oilseed rape, winter wheat and winter barley.
When used in oilseed rape ImageIT will determine the crop biomass and nitrogen uptake and based on this will give a nitrogen recommendation.
Yara’s nitrogen trials have shown the strong relationship in oilseed rape between canopy size in early spring and the optimum rate of nitrogen required. As the canopy of oilseed crops can vary greatly between different fields due to differences in drilling date, soil types, topography and slug pressure, amongst others, the optimum rates can vary greatly also. To take a canopy fresh weight measurement to assess nitrogen uptake in each field can be very time consuming, and an average across all fields may not show the true variance within.
The ImageIT app helps to speed up measurements by quickly providing a value for nitrogen uptake in the crop and a recommendation of the rate to apply, based on a minimum of four images per field. Eight years of data capture over very different seasons has led to over 12,000 crop images, each with a corresponding laboratory analysis result. This has enabled a wide range of different nitrogen rates, seed rates, drilling dates and measurement dates to be analysed to create a robust tool and provide confidence in the result.
ImageIT can also be used in winter wheat and winter barley too.
When used in winter wheat or winter barley prior to stem extension ImageIT will determine the crop nitrogen uptake but not give a recommendation, however the crop nitrogen uptake can then be used in conjunction with other measurements to fine tune nitrogen recommendations and can be used as an aid to crop management.
Further work is on-going to extend this functionality on cereals and to add other crops.