Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Published in Agron. J. 86:934-938 (1994).


New tools that can rapidly quantify the N status of corn could be valuable in N fertilizer management practices. This study was conducted to compare light reflectance from corn leaves with other parameters used to detect N deficiencies. Light reflectance (400-700 nm) as measured from corn leaves in the laboratory with a Hunter tristimulus colorimeter was compared with Minolta SPAD 502 chlorophyll meter readings (light transmittance at 650 and 940 nm), leaf N concentrations, and specific leaf N (h' content per unit area). Measurements were made on individual ear leaves collected from an irrigated corn N response trial with four hybrids and five N treatments. Light reflectance near 550 μm was the best wavelength to separate N treatment differences. Reflectance at 550 nm provided a stronger relationship with both leaf N concentration and chlorophyll meter readings than between chlorophyll meter readings and leaf N concentration. The measurement of light reflectance near 550 nm has promise as a technique to detect N deficiencies in corn leaves.