The ARDC Farm Operations Manager has granted CALMIT one acre of land to conduct crop-related research for the 1998-growing season. This land was subdivided into 23 individual test plots (40 feet wide by 40 feet long), 16 of which are being used exclusively for this project. Of the 16 plots, 8 will receive, through pipe irrigation, enough water to maintain 100% ET rates. The remaining 8 plots will receive only incident rainfall.
Hyperspectral scans of the 16 plots will be acquired with Analytical Spectral Devices, Inc.'s FieldSpec FR instrument and Spectron Engineering, Inc.'s SE-590 Spectroradiometer. Data collection will start at the beginning of June, with subsequent collection dates occurring in 2-week intervals (weather permitting), and will end in early-mid September. These data will be processed and cataloged into a database or spreadsheet program as part of a "spectral library" for corn. Upon completion of data collection, detailed analyses will be conducted to characterize spectral properties of the corn and track each plot's variance as it relates to moisture stress over time.
The hyperspectral data collected over the corn plots hold promise for identifying key wavelengths from which certain parameters (such as stress) can be remotely detected prior to visual identification. However, before being able to determine variance in spectra (i.e. estimate levels of stress), one must have a fundamental understanding of what is "normal". By developing a "spectral library" for corn, we will begin to compile necessary information needed to determine what a normal signature is, and investigate how varying levels of stress differ spectrally from normal signatures.
In addition to the moisture treatments, half of the plots will receive an additional application of nitrogen prior to the development of the tassels. The additional treatment will bring the total of nitrogen applied to the 8 plots to 200 lbs./acre. Data will be acquired and processed as in Objective 1.
The research personnel will collaborate with University agronomists and ARDC staff to obtain ground-related data that can be analyzed in conjunction with aerial multi-spectral imagery. This opportunity will allow us to investigate a number of agricultural conditions that affect crop productivity, and ultimately, yield.