Assessing changes in potato canopy caused by late blight in organic production systems through UAV-based pushbroom imaging spectrometer

Domingues Franceschini, Marston; Bartholomeus, H.; Apeldoorn, D. van; Suomalainen, J.; Kooistra, L.


Productivity of cropping systems can be constrained simultaneously by different limiting factors and approaches allowing to indicate and identify plants under stress in field conditions can be valuable for farmers and breeders. In organic production systems, sensing solutions are not frequently studied, despite their potential for crop traits retrieval and stress assessment. In this study, spectral data in the optical domain acquired using a pushbroom spectrometer on board of a unmanned aerial vehicle is used to evaluate the potential of this information for assessment of late blight (Phytophthora infestans) incidence on potato (Solanum tuberosum) under organic cultivation. Vegetation indices formulations with two and three spectral bands were tested for the complete range of the spectral information acquired (i.e., from 450 to 900 nm, with 10 nm of spectral resolution). This evaluation concerned the discrimination between plots cultivated with only one resistant potato variety in contrast with plots with a variety mixture, with resistant and susceptible cultivars. Results indicated that indices based on three spectral bands performed better and optimal wavelengths (i.e., near 490, 530 and 670 nm) are not only related to chlorophyll content but also to other leaf pigments like carotenoids.