Evaluation of an algorithm for automatic detection of broad-leaved weeds in spring cereals

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Lack of automatic weed detection tools has hampered the adoption of site-specific weed control in cereals. An initial object-oriented algorithm for the automatic detection of broad-leaved weeds in cereals developed by SINTEF ICT (Oslo, Norway) was evaluated. The algorithm (“WeedFinder”) estimates total density and cover of broad-leaved weed seedlings in cereal fields from near-ground red–green–blue images. The ability of “WeedFinder” to predict ‘spray’/‘no spray’ decisions according to a previously suggested spray decision model for spring cereals was tested with images from two wheat fields sown with the normal row spacing of the region, 0.125 m. Applying the decision model as a simple look-up table, “WeedFinder” gave correct spray decisions in 65–85% of the test images. With discriminant analysis, corresponding mean rates were 84–90%. Future versions of “WeedFinder” must be more accurate and accommodate weed species recognition.

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