Real-time crop row image reconstruction for automatic emerged corn plant spacing measurement

Lie Tang, Lei F. Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In-field variations in corn plant spacing and population can lead to significant yield differences. To minimize these variations, seeds should be placed at a uniform spacing during planting. Since the ability to achieve this uniformity is directly related to planter performance, intensive field evaluations are vitally important prior to design of new planters and currently the designers have to rely on manually collected data that is very time consuming and subject to human errors. A machine vision-based emerged crop sensing system (ECSS) was developed to automate corn plant spacing measurement at early growth stages for planter design and testing engineers. This article documents the first part of the ECSS development, which was the real-time video frame mosaicking for crop row image reconstruction. Specifically, the mosaicking algorithm was based on a normalized correlation measure and was optimized to reduce the computational time and enhance the frame connection accuracy. This mosaicking algorithm was capable of reconstructing crop row images in real-time while the sampling platform was traveling at a velocity up to 1.21 m s -1 (2.73 mph). The mosaicking accuracy of the ECSS was evaluated over three 40 to 50 m long crop rows. The ECSS achieved a mean distance measurement error ratio of -0.11% with a standard deviation of 0.74%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1087
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Corn plant spacing measurement
  • Image mosaicking
  • Machine vision
  • Real-time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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