Spatially located platform and aerial photography for documentation of grazing impacts on wheat

  • Louhaichi M
  • Borman M
  • Johnson D
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Goose populations that winter in Oregon’s Lower Willamette Valley have increased from 25 000 to more than 250 000 birds in the last 25 years, resulting in heavy grazing of wheat and other crops. To map and document the extent and intensity of goose impacts on wheat fields, we combined rectified aerial photography with both globally positioned ground observations and vertical platform photographs. Aerial photos revealed areas of fields with sparse wheat cover while platform photos documented the cause. We estimated wheat cover in ground level photographs by ratioing red, green and blue digital numbers. From platform photographs we recorded occurrence of grazing (from grazed leaf tips), intensity of grazing (from residual plant cover and leaf length), and other indicators of goose use (footprints and droppings). Because the ground photographs were spatially positioned, we could use this information to verify the cause of “thin” wheat. Crop damage from grazing/trampling, water submergence, and other factors was evident. Our results illustrate practical ways to combine aerial and ground- level image analysis, spectral observations, and global positioning systems to quantify field conditions in wheat

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  • Mounir LouhaichiInternational Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas Jordan

  • Michael M. Borman

  • Douglas E. Johnson

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