Proximal sensing of nitrogen needs by spring wheat

Shlomo Sarig, Eli Shlevin, Arkadi Zilberman, Idan Richker, Mordechay Dudai, Shlomo Nezer, Jiftah Ben-Asher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Canopy nitrogen (N) status relates strongly to canopy chlorophyll content and the strength of green color. Proximal photograph by RGB camera was used to select green features that has the potential to assess N content at leaf of plant as a function of its the greenness. We proposed the development of it as a tool for sensing nitrogen content in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum). Image processing algorithm was programed calibrated and validated wheat %N%N. Nitrogen uptake =%N × canopy dry matter was harvested and calculated using simulated dry matter by DSSAT model. The data replicated laboratory measurements. A linear Lab vs Camera model displayed a unit slope with r2 = 0.93. Increase of dry matter was successfully surrogated by days after emergence and used as abscissa for inverse logistic model of critical nitrogen level. It decreased gradually from about 6% to 2% as days after emergence increased from 0 to 110 days. Maximum N uptake calculated from photo and laboratory was 324 Kg ha−1 and 318 Kg ha−1 respectively suggesting insignificant difference. Physiological N-use efficiency (i.e., canopy weight/N weight) was 52 and 78 kg canopy dry weight per 1 kg N for early and late-ripening cultivars, respectively. The determination of N application based on the smartphone photograph proved to be useful by saving on time and expenses for growers who have access to smartphones and can use them for N application and management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number437
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Critical nitrogen (Nc)
  • Decision support
  • Fertilization
  • Mobile phone
  • NNI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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