NON-DESTRUCTIVE MONITORING OF RICE BY HYPERSPECTRAL IN-FIELD SPECTROMETRY AND UAV-BASED REMOTE SENSING: CASE STUDY OF FIELD-GROWN RICE IN NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA, GERMANY
Keywords: UAV, agriculture, rice, DEM, CSM, plant height, vegetation index, hyperspectral data
Abstract. In the context of an increasing world population, the demand for agricultural crops is continuously rising. Especially rice plays a key role in food security, not only in Asia. To increase crop production of rice, either productivity of plants has to be improved or new cultivation areas have to be found. In this context, our study investigated crop growth of paddy rice (Oryza Sativa J.) in Germany. An experimental field in the vegetation period of 2014 with two nitrogen treatments was conducted using remote sensing methods. The research project focussed on two main aspects: (1) the potential of UAV-based and hyperspectral remote sensing methods to monitor selected growth parameters at different phenological stages; (2) the potential of paddy rice cultivation under the present climate condition in western Germany. We applied a low-cost UAV-system (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) to generate high resolution Crop Surface Models (CSM). These were compared with hyperspectral in-field measurements and directly measured agronomic parameters (fresh and dry aboveground biomass (AGB), leaf-area-index (LAI) and plant nitrogen concentration (PNC)). For all acquisition dates we could determine single in-field structures in the CSM (e.g. distribution of hills) and different growth characteristics between the nitrogen treatments. Especially in the second half of the growing season, the plants with higher nitrogen availability were about 25 – 30 % larger. The plant height in the CSM correlates particularly with fresh AGB and the LAI (R2 > 0.8). Thus, the conducted methods for plant growth monitoring can be a contribution for precision agriculture approaches.