Aerial images were obtained on 22 July 1999 and 4 August 2000 from five cotton sites infested with Meloidogyne incognita. Images contained three broad bands representing the green (500-600 nm), red (600-700 nm), and near-infrared (700-900 nm) spectrum. Soil samples were collected and assayed for nematodes in the fall at these sites. Sampling locations were identified from images, by locating the coordinates of a wide range of light intensity (measured as a digital number) for each single band, and combinations of bands. There was no single band or band combination in which reflectance consistently predicted M. incognita density. In all 10 site-year combinations, the minimum number of samples necessary to estimate M. incognita density within 25% of the population mean was greater when sampling by reflectance-based classes (3 to 4 per site) than sampling based on the entire site as one unit. Two sites were sampled at multiple times during the growing season. At these sites, there was no single time during the growing season optimal to take images for nematode sampling. Aerial infrared photography conducted during the growing season could not be used to accurately determine fall population densities of M. incognita.
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