Active-optical sensor readings from an N non-limiting area standard established within a farm field are used to predict yield in the standard. Lower yield predictions from sensor readings obtained from other parts of the field outside of the N non-limiting standard area indicate a need for supplemental N. Active-optical sensor algorithms for predicting corn (Zea mays, L.) yield to direct in-season nitrogen (N) fertilization in corn utilize red NDVI (normalized differential vegetative index). Use of red edge NDVI might improve corn yield prediction at later growth stages when corn leaves cover the inter-row space resulting in "saturation" of red NDVI readings. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of red edge NDVI in two active-optical sensors (GreenSeeker™ and Holland Scientific Crop Circle™) improved corn yield prediction. Nitrogen rate experiments were established at 15 sites in North Dakota (ND). Sensor readings were conducted at V6 and V12 corn. Red NDVI and red edge NDVI were similar in the relationship of readings with yield at V6. At V12, the red edge NDVI was superior to the red NDVI in most comparisons, indicating that it would be most useful in developing late-season N application algorithms.
Keywords: corn; ground-based active-optical sensors; nitrogen; soil.