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Detecting disease in greenhouse plants

Greenhouses are an integral part of U.S. agriculture. Nearly $200 million of food is produced in domestic greenhouses each year, and the facilities play a vital role in producing seeds and transplantable vegetation. Understanding how to keep greenhouse plants healthy can translate to increased revenue for producers.

Kenneth R. Summy of the University of Texas-Pan American and Christopher R. Little of Kansas State University (Manhattan) led a study examining the stresses of a variety of greenhouse plants. The study, published in the August 2008 issue of HortScience, used color infrared (CIR) photography.

CIR images are divided into wavebands. Ratios are created comparing the NIR wavebands to red wavebands. High NIR and low red values are typical of healthy vegetation because light is being reflected in the proper proportion. Ratios of colors accentuate even slight differences in light reflection, which can indicate disease.

by S. C.
27 february 2009, Technical Area > Science News

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