Online Journal of Space Communication


Nitrogen fertilizer application can help wheat growers increase crop value and marketability by increasing grain quality. Nitrogen (N) is often applied at heading as a method of increasing protein content and therefore quality of wheat. Our objectives were to obtain spectral signatures of wheat under various N rates (0, 72, 180, 234 kg N ha-1), test various spectral methods of identifying crop stress, and observe the grain protein response to a midseason N application. Spectral data from satellite and aerial platforms were compared to preseason N treatments and flag-leaf tissue samples. Spectral data correlated well with preseason and flag leaf tissue analysis (r2 = 0.58-0.82). Grain protein increased on plots that received an additional 54 kg of N ha-1 at anthesis almost 2% in the N stressed plots (72 kg N ha-1) and 0.3-0.4% on plots with sufficient N (234 and 180 kg N ha-1). Wheat stress detected and managed with help from satellite and aerial platforms could help growers increase revenue and decrease N over-application.



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