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A team of University of Minnesota researchers led by Alex Susko, doctoral candidate and member of the Precision Agriculture Center in CFANS, developed the system to capture videos of plant movement under very windy conditions as well as stem failure or lodging. Lodging occurs when a plant falls or bends over due to high winds, disease, wet soil, excess nitrogen in the soil, machinery, or animals and can lead to losses in crop yield.
"Field camera track systems exist, such as the PhenoSpex FieldScan, but it's proprietary and primarily designed for container crop phenotyping. Our system is open source, less expensive, and easier to construct," said Susko. "It's my hope that a system like this opens the possibility for the discovery of novel plant phenotypes."
Study - Findings - Hardware - X - Journal
The study's findings, published in the Hardware X Journal, expanded on work by Peter Marchetto, an assistant professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, who used a camera across a field on parachute cord to take photos of lodging.
The U of M camera-tracking upgrade allows researchers to record real-time plant traits at different locations in the experimental field. This technology enables plant breeders to collect lodging data in real time, which will help improve the lodging resistance of cereals. The camera system captured lodging in approximately 15 minutes, saving hours of time as compared to measuring it manually, which can take three hours....
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