ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0183.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: precision agriculture; active crop canopy sensors; proximal remote sensing; variable rate fertilization
Online: 12 October 2021 (12:56:37 CEST)
Variable nitrogen(N) rate fertilization based on remote sensing is challenging for cotton production fields, but active crop canopy sensors (ACS) appear as an alternative to make this practical on farm since they can be used at night as well. The crop spatial variability in inherent in crop production in general, and not on-the-go solutions can be used with this type of active sensing technologies. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of two vegetation indices to identify the N requirement variability for cotton plants and to develop prototype algorithms for topdressing nitrogen variable rate on commercial and experimental areas, using the N-sufficiency methodology based on virtual reference. The concept of virtual reference is to use a histogram to characterize the vegetation index of properly fertilized plants without establishing an N-rich plot as a reference strip. The experiment was conducted in strips with four different N rates (0, 45, 90 and 180 kgN ha-1) during the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 crop seasons in partnership with large cotton producers in Mato Grosso and also in experimental area of Embrapa Agrosilvopastoral. Two algorithms for variable rate nitrogen fertilization for cotton were developed, namely: 1) N recommendation algorithm for cotton in commercial production system: N rate (kg.N ha-1) = -234.79 ISN2 + 49,879 ISN + 195.15; R² = 0.97; and 2) for cotton grown in experimental area: N dose (kgN ha-1) = -174.73 ISN2 - 107.21 ISN + 306.78; R² = 0.94.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0138.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Yield mapping; vegetation index; Stepwise; SR; Random Forest; KNN
Online: 8 December 2021 (14:41:31 CET)
The use of machine learning techniques to predict yield based on remote sensing is a no-return path and studies conducted on farm aim to help rural producers in decision-making. Thus, commercial fields equipped with technologies in Mato Grosso, Brazil, were monitored by satellite images to predict cotton yield using supervised learning techniques. The objective of this research was to identify how early in the growing season, which vegetation indices and which machine learning algorithms are best to predict cotton yield at the farm level. For that, we went through the following steps: 1) We observed the yield in 398 ha (3 fields) and eight vegetation indices (VI) were calculated on five dates during the growing season. 2) Scenarios were created to facilitate the analysis and interpretation of results: Scenario 1: All Data (8 indices on 5 dates = 40 inputs) and Scenario 2: best variable selected by Stepwise regression (1 input). 3) In the search for the best algorithm, hyperparameter adjustments, calibrations and tests using machine learning were performed to predict yield and performances were evaluated. Scenario 1 had the best metrics in all fields of study, and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) and Random Forest (RF) algorithms showed the best performances with adjusted R2 of 47% and RMSE of only 0.24 t ha-1, however, in this scenario all predictive inputs that were generated throughout the growing season (approx. 180 days) are needed, so we optimized the prediction and tested only the best VI in each field, and found that among the eight VIs, the Simple Ratio (SR), driven by the K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) algorithm predicts with 0.26 and 0.28 t ha-1 of RMSE and 5.20% MAPE, anticipating the cotton yield with low error by ±143 days, and with important aspect of requiring less computational demand in the generation of the prediction when compared to MLP and RF, for example, enabling its use as a technique that helps predict cotton yield, resulting in time savings for planning, whether in marketing or in crop management strategies.