Comparison of eleven vegetation indices for estimating plant height of alfalfa and grass

Payero, J. O., Neale, C. M. U. and Wright, J. L. (2004) Comparison of eleven vegetation indices for estimating plant height of alfalfa and grass. Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 20 3: 385-393. doi:10.13031/2013.16057

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Author Payero, J. O.
Neale, C. M. U.
Wright, J. L.
Title Comparison of eleven vegetation indices for estimating plant height of alfalfa and grass
Journal name Applied Engineering in Agriculture   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0883-8542
Publication date 2004-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.13031/2013.16057
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 20
Issue 3
Start page 385
End page 393
Total pages 9
Place of publication St Joseph, MI, United States
Publisher American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Language eng
Formatted abstract
A great variety of vegetation indices, derived from remote sensing measurements, are commonly used to characterize the growth pattern of cropped surfaces. In this study, multispectral canopy reflectance data were obtained from grass (Festuca arundinacea) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) at Kimberly, Idaho, with the purpose of comparing the performance of 11 vegetation indices for estimating plant height of these two structurally different crop canopies. An additional purpose was to develop quantitative relationships between plant height and the different vegetation indices, which could be used to estimate plant height from remote sensing inputs. For alfalfa, good logistic growth relationships between plant height and all the different vegetation indices were found. The relationship resulted in r2 > 0.90 for all the vegetation indices, and r2 > 0.97 for most of them. While all the vegetation indices were very sensitive to changes in plant height at the beginning of the growing cycle, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Infrared Percentage Vegetation Index (IPVI , and the Transformed Vegetation Index (TVI) became insensitive to additional plant growth when alfalfa reached heights of 0.45, 0.40, and 0.45 m, respectively. All the other vegetation indices performed reasonably well for the entire range of alfalfa plant heights considered in this study (< 0.75 m). For grass, on the other hand, only 4 of the 11 vegetation indices, including the Band Ratio (RATIO), TVI, NDVI, and IPVI, resulted in a reasonably good linear relationship with plant height (r2 ≈ 0.76).
Keyword Grass
Remote sensing
Vegetation index
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
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