2020 journal article
Creating Predictive Weed Emergence Models Using Repeat Photography and Image Analysis
Plants, 9(5), 635.
Weed emergence models have the potential to be important tools for automating weed control actions; however, producing the necessary data (e.g., seedling counts) is time consuming and tedious. If similar weed emergence models could be created by deriving emergence data from images rather than physical counts, the amount of generated data could be increased to create more robust models. In this research, repeat RGB images taken throughout the emergence period of Raphanus raphanistrum L. and Senna obtusifolia (L.) Irwin and Barneby underwent pixel-based spectral classification. Relative cumulative pixels generated by the weed of interest over time were used to model emergence patterns. The models that were derived from cumulative pixel data were validated with the relative emergence of true seedling counts. The cumulative pixel model for R. raphanistrum and S. obtusifolia accounted for 92% of the variation in relative emergence of true counts. The results demonstrate that a simple image analysis approach based on time-dependent changes in weed cover can be used to generate weed emergence predictive models equivalent to those produced based on seedling counts. This process will help researchers working on weed emergence models, providing a new low-cost and technologically simple tool for data collection.