Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in Plant Sciences Department
Research project:
Remote sensing of nematode infestations in Arizona crops

Application of chemical nematicides, the typical method of nematode control, is expensive and presents a potential hazard to humans and the environment. An effective and cost-efficient means of limiting nematicide application only to areas where it is needed would save growers unnecessary expense and help to safeguard the environment. The aim of this project is to evaluate the applicability of hyperspectral imaging systems for mapping the presence of nematode-induced stress in affected crops. By using an airborne hyperspectral sensor, imagery covering large agricultural fields can be acquired quickly, and, if necessary, repeatedly over the growing season, in order to locate and track nematode infestation.  An alternate approach involves the use of GPS-coupled yield monitors, in combination with soil sampling as a "ground truth" measure, to delineate areas in the field that are infested with nematodes.  Yield maps are then generated that, along with GPS-guided tractors, can be used to apply nematicides with great precision, only to the nematode-infested areas.
For more information: Dr. Mike McClure, mcclure@ag.arizona.edu
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