Nav: Home

Research brief: UMN researchers develop DIY field imaging system

July 18, 2018

Farmers and plant breeders can now build their own automated field camera track system to collect data on dynamic plant traits, such as crop lodging and movement, as it's happening in the field to help reduce losses in crop yield.

A team of University of Minnesota researchers led by Alex Susko, doctoral candidate and member of the Precision Agriculture Center in CFANS, developed the system to capture videos of plant movement under very windy conditions as well as stem failure or lodging. Lodging occurs when a plant falls or bends over due to high winds, disease, wet soil, excess nitrogen in the soil, machinery, or animals and can lead to losses in crop yield.

"Field camera track systems exist, such as the PhenoSpex FieldScan, but it's proprietary and primarily designed for container crop phenotyping. Our system is open source, less expensive, and easier to construct," said Susko. "It's my hope that a system like this opens the possibility for the discovery of novel plant phenotypes."

The study's findings, published in the Hardware X Journal, expanded on work by Peter Marchetto, an assistant professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, who used a camera across a field on parachute cord to take photos of lodging.

The U of M camera-tracking upgrade allows researchers to record real-time plant traits at different locations in the experimental field. This technology enables plant breeders to collect lodging data in real time, which will help improve the lodging resistance of cereals. The camera system captured lodging in approximately 15 minutes, saving hours of time as compared to measuring it manually, which can take three hours. Furthermore, this technology stretches the possibilities of high throughput phenotyping, and its open source nature will allow for further adaptation to grower and breeder data collection needs.

Researchers took hemispherical videos of crop movement at varying wind speeds at fixed locations and were able to quantify the movement using MATLAB. The study's results allowed them to distinguish the movement of two different oat varieties based on the frequency and magnitude of oscillating stem movements in the wind.

"Since we are interested in the plant response under wind stress, we can operate this system under very windy conditions to obtain videos of plant movement, a novel phenotype," said Susko. "I'm interested in how different physiological parameters such as plant height affect plant movement, and in turn, plant lodging resistance."

Researchers developed a specific camera track to photograph small grains under direct wind stress. The camera track system is made of commercial hardware and electronics accommodating 360-degree cameras. It can be adapted to various field dimensions, crops, and sensor systems to get high throughput phenotypic data unmeasurable by other systems.

"Existing methods to collect data on lodging, such as hand-grading or drone imaging, don't work for short-term events, and unmanned aerial vehicles are unstable during storms," said Marchetto. "This new system is specifically designed to withstand inclement weather, which is important for obtaining better data and addressing issues before they become losses in yield."
-end-
Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota Rapid Agricultural Response Fund, while equipment was provided in part by MNDRIVE Robotics, Sensing, and Advanced Manufacturing.

University of Minnesota

Related Data Articles:

Data centers use less energy than you think
Using the most detailed model to date of global data center energy use, researchers found that massive efficiency gains by data centers have kept energy use roughly flat over the past decade.
Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.
Life data economics: calling for new models to assess the value of human data
After the collapse of the blockchain bubble a number of research organisations are developing platforms to enable individual ownership of life data and establish the data valuation and pricing models.
Geoscience data group urges all scientific disciplines to make data open and accessible
Institutions, science funders, data repositories, publishers, researchers and scientific societies from all scientific disciplines must work together to ensure all scientific data are easy to find, access and use, according to a new commentary in Nature by members of the Enabling FAIR Data Steering Committee.
Democratizing data science
MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data.
Getting the most out of atmospheric data analysis
An international team including researchers from Kanazawa University used a new approach to analyze an atmospheric data set spanning 18 years for the investigation of new-particle formation.
Ecologists ask: Should we be more transparent with data?
In a new Ecological Applications article, authors Stephen M. Powers and Stephanie E.
Should you share data of threatened species?
Scientists and conservationists have continually called for location data to be turned off in wildlife photos and publications to help preserve species but new research suggests there could be more to be gained by sharing a rare find, rather than obscuring it, in certain circumstances.
Futuristic data storage
The development of high-density data storage devices requires the highest possible density of elements in an array made up of individual nanomagnets.
Making data matter
The advent of 3-D printing has made it possible to take imaging data and print it into physical representations, but the process of doing so has been prohibitively time-intensive and costly.
More Data News and Data Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Graham
If former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's case for the death of George Floyd goes to trial, there will be this one, controversial legal principle looming over the proceedings: The reasonable officer. In this episode, we explore the origin of the reasonable officer standard, with the case that sent two Charlotte lawyers on a quest for true objectivity, and changed the face of policing in the US. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty with help from Kelly Prime and Annie McEwen. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.