Brooker, A., K. Renner, R. F. Price, and B. Basso. 2021. Evaluating high-resolution optical and thermal reflectance of maize interseeded with cover crops across spatial scales using remotely sensed imagery. Agronomy Journal 113:2884-2899.
We evaluated the optical and thermal reflectance of maize (Zea mays L.) interseeded with cover crops using remotely sensed canopy temperature and multispectral imagery. In 2017 and 2018 annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus L.), and a mixture of annual ryegrass and crimson clover were interseeded in maize at V3 and V6 at three different cover crop seeding rates in small research plots at two experimental farm sites within the network of Michigan State University. The same cover crop species were interseeded in maize at V3 and V6 at a single seeding rate in on-farm replicated strip trials and also a full-scale field trial at five locations in Michigan. Canopy temperature and multispectral reflectance were remotely measured 10-12 times throughout each season at all sites using fixed wing aircraft at 1-m spatial resolution. Optical and thermal reflectance were also measured remotely using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with 2-cm spatial resolution three times during the growing season at the small plot sites. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and normalized difference red-edge (NDRE) were calculated for each of the experimental sites. No significant differences were detected between the interseeded treatments and control with regards to the optical and thermal reflectance and maize grain yield. Variability at field scale was due to inherent differences and not caused by the interseeding treatments.
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