Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study Helps Researchers Better Estimate Citrus Crop Yields

Citrus crop-yield estimates may be more accurate, thus ensuring higher productivity and more revenue, if an algorithm proves as successful as it did in a recent University of Florida study.

Wonsuk “Daniel” Lee’s study, published in the January issue of the journal Biosystems Engineering, could eventually help Florida’s $9 billion-a-year citrus industry.

Lee, a UF agricultural and biological engineering professor, used an algorithm to find immature citrus in photos taken under different light conditions and fruit that was hidden by leaves and branches. He and his colleagues found 80 percent of the immature fruit.

The accuracy rate means growers can use the model to know well before harvest how much fruit is on their trees, Lee said. Therefore, they can more easily plan harvesting, predict crop yields and possibly make more money, he said.

Harvesting accounts for about 30 percent of the cost of citrus production, Lee said. With Lee’s system, growers can determine the optimal time to harvest much earlier, he said.

Traditionally, growers have estimated crop yields on the number of boxes they believe their mature citrus trees can produce, based on years of experience examining their groves, Lee said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also publishes a monthly crop yield estimate, based on examining tree sizes at select locations around the state and then gauging the number of fruit each branch is expected to yield.

“This gives growers a more accurate rate than just guessing,” Lee said, although he noted that his method isn’t yet ready to be used to estimate yield for an entire grove. But when that day comes, he said, growers will benefit: “If you know the exact yield, you can predict the price.”

Traditionally, growers manage groves in units of varying acres. Growers harvest more citrus in some parts of their groves than others possibly because of differences in soil from one acre to another, water or disease, Lee said.

The study, co-authored by UF computer and information sciences doctoral student Subhajit Sengupta, details the yield-estimation method, which may also someday help growers identify the least productive parts of their groves so they can find out why.

“You have to find the cause of those and correct those so you can increase yield and profit, eventually,” he said.

Using a digital camera, two of Lee’s former students took 240 photos of fruit from a research grove at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences on the Gainesville campus. Because of the scope of the study, these are preliminary findings, Lee said, but they hold promise for growers seeking to boost the accuracy of their crop-yield estimates.

The findings are part of Lee’s research goal of developing an electronic system that can “see” and count fruit, a concept called machine vision.

The system includes a digital camera, a portable computer, GPS receiver and software designed by Lee and his graduate students. Ultimately, growers would like a machine that drives itself through groves, but researchers aren’t there yet, Lee said.

In smaller groves, it’s possible to photograph every tree, Lee said. But for those that span thousands of acres, operators would photograph trees in representative parts of the grove and use the results to make projections.

For now, Lee said, he and one of his graduate students are working on developing the self-running machine vision system that growers want.

Source: Wonsuk “Daniel” Lee, 352-392-1864, ext. 227,
Contact Information
By Brad Buck, 352-294-3303,

Brad Buck | Newswise
Further information:

Further reports about: Citrus Researchers algorithm crop crop yield digital camera machine vision

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>