Water and nitrogen effects on active canopy sensor vegetation indices

Luciano Shiratsuchi, Richard Ferguson, John Shanahan, Viacheslav Adamchuk, Donald Rundquist, David B Marx, Glen Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Much of the previous evaluation of active crop canopy sensors for in-season assessment of crop N status has occurred in environments without water stress. Th e impact of concurrent water and N stress on the use of active crop canopy sensors for in-season N management is unknown. Th e objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of various spectral indices for sensing N status of corn (Zea mays L.), where spectral variability might be confounded by water-induced variations in crop refl ectance. Th e study was conducted in 2009 and 2010 with experimental treatments of irrigation level (100 and 70% evapotranspiration [ET]), previous crop {corn-corn or soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]-corn} and N fertilizer rate (0, 75, 150, and 225 kg N ha -1). Crop canopy refl ectance was measured from V11 to R4 stage using two active sensors-a two band (880 and 590 nm) and a three band (760, 720, and 670 nm). Among the indices, the vegetation index described by near infrared minus red edge divided by near infrared minus red (DATT) and Meris terrestrial chlorophyll index (MTCI) were the least aff ected by water stress, with good ability to differentiate N rate with both previous crops. Th e chlorophyll index using amber band (CI), normalized diff erence vegetation index using red edge band (NDVI_RE) and the normalized vegetationi using the red band (NDVI_Red) showed more variation due to water supply, and had only moderate ability to differentiate N rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1815-1826
Number of pages12
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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