In-season estimation of rice nitrogen status with an active crop canopy sensor

Yinkun Yao, Yuxin Miao, Qiang Cao, Hongye Wang, Martin L. Gnyp, Georg Bareth, Rajiv Khosla, Wen Yang, Fengyan Liu, Cheng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Timely nondestructive estimation of crop nitrogen (N) status is crucial for in-season site-specific N management. Active crop canopy sensors are the promising tools to obtain the needed information without being affected by environmental light conditions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential for the GreenSeeker active crop canopy sensor to estimate rice (Oryza sativa L.) N status. Nine N rate experiments were conducted from 2008 to 2012 in Jiansanjiang, Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China. The results indicated that across site-years and growth stages, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and ratio vegetation index (RVI) obtained with the GreenSeeker sensor could explain 73%-76% and 70%-73% of rice aboveground biomass and plant N uptake variability in this study, respectively. The NDVI index became saturated when biomass reached about {\bf 4\nbsp\hbox{t}\nbsp\hbox{ha}^{-1}} or when plant N uptake reached about {\bf 100\nbsp\hbox{kg}\nbsp\hbox{ha}^{-1}}, whereas RVI did not show obvious saturation effect. The validation results, however, indicated that both indices performed similarly, and their relative errors (RE) were still large ( {\bf \gt 40\% }). Although the two indices only explained less than 40% of plant N concentration or N nutrition index (NNI) variability, the RE values were acceptable ({\bf \lt 26\%} ). The results indicated some potentials of using the GreenSeeker sensor to estimate rice N status nondestructively, but more studies are needed to further evaluate and improve its performance for practical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6822547
Pages (from-to)4403-4413
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2008-2012 IEEE.


  • Active crop sensor
  • biomass
  • nitrogen nutrition index (NNI)
  • plant nitrogen concentration
  • plant nitrogen uptake
  • precision nitrogen management


Dive into the research topics of 'In-season estimation of rice nitrogen status with an active crop canopy sensor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this