9 June 2016 Ground-based hyperspectral remote sensing to discriminate biotic stress in cotton crop
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A large gap exists between the potential yield and the yield realized at the agricultural field. Among the factors contributing towards this yield gap are the biotic stresses that affect the crops growth and development. Severity of infestation of the pests and diseases differs between agroclimatic region, individual crops and seasons within a region. Information about the timing of start of infestation of these diseases and pests with their gradual progress in advance could enable plan necessary pesticide schedule for the season, region on the particular crop against the specific menace expected. This could be enabled by development of region, crop and pest-specific prediction models to forewarn these menaces. In India most (70%) of the land-holding size of farmers average 0.39 ha (some even 20 m x 20 m) and only 1% crop growers hold< 10 ha (mean: 17.3 ha). Patchiness of disease and pest incidence could pose problems in its proper assessment and management. Thus, such exercise could be highly time-consuming and labour-intensive for the seventh largest country with difficult terrain, 66% gross cropped area under food crops, lacking in number of skilled manpower and shrinking resources. Remote sensing overcomes such limitations with ability to access all parts of the country and can often achieve a high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution and thus leading to an accurate estimation of area affected. Due to pest and disease stress plants showed different behavior in terms of physiological and morphological changes lead to symptoms such as wilting, curling of leaf, stunned growth, reduction in leaf area due to severe defoliation or chlorosis or necrosis of photosynthetically active parts (Prabhakar et al., 2011; Booteet al., 1983; Aggarwal et al., 2006). Damage evaluation of diseases has been largely done by visual inspections and quantification but visual quantification of plant pest and diseases with accuracy and precision is a tough task. Utilization of remote sensing techniques are based on the assumption that plant pest and disease stresses interfere with physical structure and function of plant and influence the absorption of light energy and therefore changes the reflectance spectrum of plants. Moreover, remote sensing provides better means to objectively quantify crop stress than visual methods and it can be used repeatedly to collect sample measurements non-destructively and non-invasively (Nutteret et al., 1990; Nilson, 1995). Recent advances in the field of spectroscopy and other remote sensing techniques offer much needed technology of hyperspectral remote sensing (Prabhakar et al., 2011). Hyperspectral remote sensing for disease detection helps in monitoring the diseases in plants with the help of different plant spectral properties at the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions ranging from 350 – 2500 nm, which develops specific signatures for a specific stress for a given plant (Yang et al., 2009). It has been effectively used in assessment of disease in agricultural crops like wheat, rice, tomato etc across the world. Cotton (Gissypium hirsutum L.) is one of the major commercial crops grown in India, and supports about 60 million people in the country directly or indirectly through the process of production, processing, marketing and trade (Prabhakar et al., 2011). India ranks first in global acreage, occupying about 33% of world cotton area. With regard to production it is ranked second next to China. In recent years, farmers are facing many challenges because of rising incidents of white flies, jassid, leafhoppers, aphids, mealybugs and stainers. Whiteflies are tiny, sap- sucking insects that may become abundant in vegetable and ornamental plantings, especially during warm weather. They excrete sticky honeydew and cause yellowing or death of leaves. Outbreaks often occur when the natural biological control is disrupted. Management is difficult once populations are high. White flies develop rapidly in warm weather, and populations can build up quickly in situations where natural enemies are ineffective and when weather and host plants favor outbreaks. Large colonies often develop on the undersides of leaves. The most common pest species such as greenhouse white fly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and sweet potato white fly (Bemisia tabaci) have a wide host range that includes many weeds and crops. White flies normally lay their tiny oblong eggs on the undersides of leaves. The eggs hatch, and the young white flies gradually increase in size through four nymphal stages called instars. The first nymphal stage (crawler) is barely visible even with a hand lens. The crawlers move around for several hours before settling to begin feeding. Later nymphal stages are immobile, oval, and flattened, with greatly reduced legs and antennae, like small scale insects. The winged adult emerges from the last nymphal stage (sometimes called a pupa, although whiteflies don’t have a true complete metamorphosis). All stages feed by sucking plant juices from leaves and excreting excess liquid as drops of honeydew as they feed. White flies use their piercing, needle like mouthparts to suck sap from phloem, the food-conducting tissues in plant stems and leaves. Large populations can cause leaves to turn yellow, appear dry, or fall off plants. Like aphids, white flies excrete sugary liquid called honeydew, so leaves may be sticky or covered with black sooty mold that grows on honeydew. The honeydew attracts ants, which interfere with the activities of natural enemies that may control white flies and other pests. High white fly infestation was reported at several locations in Punjab during year 2015. The application of non-destructive methods to detect vegetation stress at an early stage of its development is very important for pest management in commercially important crops. Earlier few studies have been done to characterize reflectance spectra of nutrient stress nitrogen deficiency and irrigation management for cotton but no literature is available regarding characterization of spectral reflectance to study white fly infestation. Therefore, the primary objectives of this study are: (i) to study changes in chlorophyll content and water content due to white fly infestation. (ii) characterization of spectral signature from cotton crop infested by white fly, (iii) establishment of most sensitive wavebands to white fly infestation.
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Rahul Nigam, Rajsi Kot, Sandeep S. Sandhu, Bimal K. Bhattacharya, Ravinder S. Chandi, Manjeet Singh, Jagdish Singh, K. R. Manjunath, "Ground-based hyperspectral remote sensing to discriminate biotic stress in cotton crop", Proc. SPIE 9880, Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Remote Sensing Technology, Techniques and Applications VI, 98800H (9 June 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2228122; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2228122

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