Crop biometric maps: the key to prediction

Sensors (Basel). 2013 Sep 23;13(9):12698-743. doi: 10.3390/s130912698.


The sustainability of agricultural production in the twenty-first century, both in industrialized and developing countries, benefits from the integration of farm management with information technology such that individual plants, rows, or subfields may be endowed with a singular "identity." This approach approximates the nature of agricultural processes to the engineering of industrial processes. In order to cope with the vast variability of nature and the uncertainties of agricultural production, the concept of crop biometrics is defined as the scientific analysis of agricultural observations confined to spaces of reduced dimensions and known position with the purpose of building prediction models. This article develops the idea of crop biometrics by setting its principles, discussing the selection and quantization of biometric traits, and analyzing the mathematical relationships among measured and predicted traits. Crop biometric maps were applied to the case of a wine-production vineyard, in which vegetation amount, relative altitude in the field, soil compaction, berry size, grape yield, juice pH, and grape sugar content were selected as biometric traits. The enological potential of grapes was assessed with a quality-index map defined as a combination of titratable acidity, sugar content, and must pH. Prediction models for yield and quality were developed for high and low resolution maps, showing the great potential of crop biometric maps as a strategic tool for vineyard growers as well as for crop managers in general, due to the wide versatility of the methodology proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods*
  • Biometry / methods*
  • Crops, Agricultural / anatomy & histology*
  • Crops, Agricultural / physiology*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Remote Sensing Technology / methods*