New Remote Sensing Technology Helps Detect Potato Diseases

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Drone flying over field

A study done in the United Kingdom using aerial imaging was able to detect and differentiate between potato diseases, a May 27 news release from The James Hutton Institute, says.

The InnovateUK-funded project called “In-field Optical Detection of Potato Disease,” which involved researchers from The James Hutton Institute, used aerial imaging taken from drones to detect and differentiate between potato diseases. Non-imaging hyperspectral data was also collected from artificially inoculated potato plants under both controlled environment and field conditions.

“While the aerial imaging demonstrated potential for this method to detect diseases once visible symptoms were present, the hyperspectral data, when subjected to machine learning analysis techniques could detect and differentiate between late blight and blackleg diseases even before visible symptoms were present, with high accuracy,” Damian Bienkowski, a postdoctoral researcher at the James Hutton Institute, says in the release.

“It is predicted that if imaging with greater spectral and spatial resolution is used in the field, it will likely be able to map multiple diseases in growers crops, enabling precise disease control options to be deployed with greater efficiency.”

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