Drone image Invereleigh NVT Wheat DEC 21

Exciting plant phenotyping technologies on the horizon

Innovation in Plant Variety Testing Australia (INVITA) is an exciting project SFS is part of that is being conducted at NVT sites across the country. The project is looking at new methods and tools for phenotyping plants in the field and improving variety testing networks. It aims to use the combined information collected from satellites, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aka drone imagery, and in season assessments to create new data analytics technology that will help enhance predictions for growers.

This project began in Europe but has been adapted to suit Australian conditions with funding from the GRDC and is being run by the University of Queensland. This year, SFS has been taking images and assessments from NVT wheat trials at Inverleigh, Streatham, and Hamilton.

UAV flights are carried out at several times during the growing season, capturing hundreds of images of the trials that are stitched together and analysed. Multiple assessments on the trials are done on the same day as the UAV flights to help calibrate and ground truth the information and imagery received from UAV and satellite images. These assessments include individual plot photos, NDVI and growth staging. A final UAV flight and harvest grab samples will be conducted the day the trials are harvested.

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