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Greenhouse application of light-drone imaging technology for assessing weeds severity occurring on baby-leaf red lettuce beds approaching fresh-cutting

    1. [1] Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria (CREA), Centro di Ricerca Ingegneria e Trasformazioni Agroalimentari. Via della Pascolare 16, 00015 Monterotondo (Rome)
    2. [2] CREA, Centro di Ricerca Orticoltura e Florovivaismo. Via Cavalleggeri 25, 84098 Pontecagnano Faiano
  • Localización: Spanish journal of agricultural research, ISSN 1695-971X, ISSN-e 2171-9292, Vol. 18, Nº. 3, 2020
  • Idioma: inglés
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  • Resumen
    • Aim of study: For baby-leaf lettuces greenhouse cultivations the absence of weeds is a mandatory quality requirement. One of the most promising and innovative technologies in weed research, is the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or drones) equipped with acquisition systems. The aim of this study was to provide an estimation of the exact weed amount on baby-sized red lettuce beds using a light drone equipped with an RGB microcamera.Area of study: Trials were performed at specialized organic farm site in Eboli (Salerno, Italy), under polyethylene multi-tunnel greenhouse.Material and methods: The RGB images acquired were processed with specific algorithms distinguishing weeds from crop yields, estimating the weeds covered surface and the severity of weed contamination in terms of biomass. A regression between the percentage of the surface covered by weed (with respect to the image total surface) and the weight of weed (with respect to the total harvested biomass) was calculated.Main results: The regression between the total cover values of the 25 calibration images and the total weight measured report a significant linear correlation. Digital monitoring was able to capture with accuracy the highly variable weed coverage that, among the different grids positioned under real cultivation conditions, was in the range 0-16.4% of the total cultivated one.Research highlights: In a precision weed management context, with the aim of improving management and decreasing the use of pesticides, this study provided an estimation of the exact weed amount on baby-sized red lettuce beds using a light drone.

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