Varco, Jac J.

Committee Member

Cox, Michael S.

Committee Member

Reddy, K. Raja

Committee Member

Roberts, Darrin F.

Committee Member

Lawrence, Gary W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) reflectance has potential to drive variable rate N (VRN) applications, but more precise definitions of relationships between sensor-observed reflectance, plant height, and N status are necessary. The objectives of this study were to define effectiveness and relationships between three commercially available sensors, and examine relationships of wavelengths and indices obtained by a spectrometer to plant height and N status. Field trials were conducted during 2008-2010 growing seasons at Mississippi State, MS. Fertilizer N rates ranged from 0-135 kg N ha-1 to establish growth differences. Sensor effects were significant, but sensors monitoring Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) failed to correlate well with early-season N status. Wavelengths and indices utilizing the red-edge correlated most strongly with N status. Both Guyot’s Red Edge Index (REI) and Canopy Chlorophyll Content Index (I) correlated consistently with N status independent of biomass status early enough in the growing season to drive VRN.