To measure turfgrass performance, professionals have traditionally relied on trained human evaluators who provide visual assessments of turf quality.
But human evaluators require training and may be distracted by many factors that can affect accuracy and consistency of the assessments. New optical sensing technology has recently been introduced to measure the reflectance from turf canopies to determine turfgrass growth, wear tolerance, herbicide tolerance, and fertility.
A new study published in HortTechnology assessed a handheld optical sensor (GreenSeeker) for evaluating overall turfgrass quality in three turf species over two growing seasons. The research team of Gregory E. Bell, Dennis L. Martin, Kyungjoon Koh, and Holly R. Han from Oklahoma State University compared the combined time required for visual evaluation and data entry with the time required for the same functions using the handheld optical sensor.
The study was conducted at the Oklahoma State University Turfgrass Research Center in Stillwater. Visual quality ratings and sensor ratings were collected on schedules prescribed by the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program for the 2002 bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.), 2002 buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides), and 2002 zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) studies in 2003 and 2004.
The GreenSeeker handheld sensor used in the study incorporated a sensor head, a telescoping tube, a PDA, and a control box. A single sensor was mounted to a telescoping pole that comprised the primary structure of the handheld. A rechargeable battery rested on the opposite end of the pole to provide power and counterbalance the weight of the sensor. The entire unit weighed approximately 11 pounds and was suspended from an adjustable shoulder strap.
The researchers concluded that use of the sensor reduced the time required to complete data collection and data entry by 58% compared with human visual evaluation. "The GreenSeeker was relatively inexpensive and required less total combined time for data collection and entry than visual evaluation. The handheld sensor was very stable and did not require routine maintenance, update, and recalibration. It provided a consistent, objective evaluation of overall turfgrass quality", stated Bell.
Training personnel to use the handheld sensor, including data entry, took less than one hour; training a visual evaluator can require several days, and evaluators can take months to become proficient.
The researchers added that although the sensor has distinct advantages, there are still reasons to include the human element in turfgrass assessment. Bell noted that "the handheld optical sensor alone cannot provide necessary information about turfgrass texture or density that can be effectively determined by human evaluators. However, it does provide a consistent measure of reflectance that is primarily affected by a combination of turfgrass color and percent live cover."
The complete study and abstract are available on theASHS HortTechnology electronic journal web site: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/2/309
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application.
Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
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...
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...
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...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences