For important decisions in breeding and seed production, objective methods for evaluating plant growth are also needed. These are intended to supplement the conventional subjective assessment. For this purpose, optical measurement technology can be used in combination with image processing directly on the trial field.
In a mobile measuring system developed by Fraunhofer IIS in cooperation with Strube GmbH & Co. KG, high-resolution (0.3mm)³ plants are measured three-dimensionally in the field using laser light-sectioning and recorded with a color camera. The 3D data is then fused with the color data. Using image processing, the leaf area is now determined fully automatically, independently of the leaf position for beet plants.
On this basis, the characteristics growth stage at a certain point in time and leaf area can be determined objectively. Furthermore, the homogeneity of the field emergence is determined as an important quality criterion. The individual plants can be viewed three-dimensionally on a monitor from all sides in natural colors. This allows a visual assessment by experts and a detailed and direct comparison of plants of different locations and genetics.
The metric determination of further morphological characteristics from the measurement data specifically tailored to the requirements of breeders is also possible, as is adaptation of the system to other crops.
* The 3-D plant scanner is designed to be portable so that measurements can be taken in the field, regardless of the weather, without damaging the soil. This system can measure 1500 beet plants per day in three dimensions.