Phenomics tools offer non-destructive and high throughput methods to quantify crop performance in response to the environment.

The challenge

Non-destructive crop measurement

Crop yield is the product of complex dynamic processes occurring between genome, environment and management. However, little of this dynamic information is used in crop breeding programs to influence the performance of a particular genotype.

The challenge is to develop non-destructive methods that can be used on high numbers of genotypes in the field to quickly measure performance traits over time and inform selection decisions.

Agronomists and farmers also currently have to rely on demanding and destructive methods to measure crop performance and lack the tools to monitor crop performance in the field. Phenomics could provide some solutions for improving the efficiency of crop assessment at the farm scale.

Our response

Smart sensors

The Phenomobile Lite is a manually operated field phenotyping platform.

We are working on integrated sensor technologies that rapidly, cheaply and easily measure, over time, relevant crop attributes in the field.

Our vehicular platforms, like manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, farm machinery and lightweight mobile rigs, sense crop function and performance. In parallel, we have developed systems to process the large volumes of data collected (phenoSMART®), relate this to ground-truthed data and unravel the effects of the dynamic environment on crop performance.

We deliver our products and services through the Canberra node of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility , the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre and other initiatives and partnerships such as the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

We have significantly increased our measurement capability, such as improving the robustness of canopy temperature measurement, using airborne thermography. On the ground, our Phenomobile Lite can undertake non-destructive measurement of the above-ground canopy to measure plant height or estimate biomass or leaf area. The ArduCrop canopy temperature system is also operational for remote assessment of stomatal response to environment or water management in cotton and horticultural crops.

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