Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



An ASABE Meeting Presentation, Paper Number: 084573

Written for presentation at the 2008 ASABE Annual International Meeting Sponsored by ASABE Rhode Island Convention Center Providence, Rhode Island June 29 – July 2, 2008


Used by permission.


Mapping of corn plant population can provide useful information for making field management decisions. This research focused on using low cost infra-red sensors to count plants. The voltage output data from the sensors were processed using an algorithm developed to extract plant populations. Preliminary investigations were conducted using sensors mounted on a stationary track for laboratory testing and on a row crop tractor for field testing. Repeated measurements were taken on a manually counted corn row. Visual inspection of the data from the field test indicated the potential to identify corn stalks based on approximate physical widths of the stalks. Corn plant populations tended to be overestimated for all eight field trials, with errors ranging from +0.7% to +4.4%. Overestimation was most likely due to leaves or other objects detected by the sensors during the field trials wrongly identified as corn stalks.