The Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council, in cooperation with Southeast Missouri State University, is investigating unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with remote sensing cameras for use in assessing rice performance with the aim of providing real-time production decision management.
Photo 1 shows field-long row rice plots with different varieties to evaluate variety performance. The different green colors are primarily attributed to the intrinsic rice variety color.
Photo 2 shows a NDVI photo of the same row rice variety plot, with the green colors representing rice with strong crop growth performance characteristics and reddish signal returns indicative of the rice canopy showing stress. The plots also infer that some varieties are exhibiting more stress in row rice conditions than other varieties, indicating that variety selection is important for row rice management.
Southeast is currently the only university in Missouri to offer a bachelor’s degree in unmanned aircraft systems. This new and growing field is proving to be invaluable for a variety of areas, including agriculture. In this program, students learn the fundamentals of these machines, including maintenance, customization, acquisition and commercial use.
For more information about this exciting program at Southeast, visit semo.edu/study/unmanned-aircraft.