2023 journal article

Spectral Discrimination of Macronutrient Deficiencies in Greenhouse Grown Flue-Cured Tobacco


By: J. Henry n, P. Veazie n, M. Furman n, M. Vann n & B. Whipker n

author keywords: macronutrients; Hoagland solution; spectroscopy; principal component analysis; information entropy; classification modeling
UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
2. Zero Hunger (Web of Science)
Source: Web Of Science
Added: February 13, 2023

Remote sensing of nutrient disorders has become more common in recent years. Most research has considered one or two nutrient disorders and few studies have sought to distinguish among multiple macronutrient deficiencies. This study was conducted to provide a baseline spectral characterization of macronutrient deficiencies in flue-cured tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Reflectance measurements were obtained from greenhouse-grown nutrient-deficient plants at several stages of development. Feature selection methods including information entropy and first and second derivatives were used to identify wavelengths useful for discriminating among these deficiencies. Detected variability was primarily within wavelengths in the visible spectrum, while near-infrared and shortwave-infrared radiation contributed little to the observed variability. Principal component analysis was used to reduce data dimensionality and the selected components were used to develop linear discriminant analysis models to classify the symptoms. Classification models for young, intermediate, and mature plants had overall accuracies of 92%, 82%, and 75%, respectively, when using 10 principal components. Nitrogen, sulfur, and magnesium deficiencies exhibited greater classification accuracies, while phosphorus and potassium deficiencies demonstrated poor or inconsistent results. This study demonstrates that spectral analysis of flue-cured tobacco is a promising methodology to improve current scouting methods.