Precision Agriculture

, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 477–508

A Review on Remote Sensing of Weeds in Agriculture

  • K.R. Thorp
  • L.F. Tian

DOI: 10.1007/s11119-004-5321-1

Cite this article as:
Thorp, K. & Tian, L. Precision Agriculture (2004) 5: 477. doi:10.1007/s11119-004-5321-1


In the effort of developing precision agriculture tools, remote sensing has been commonly considered as an effective technique for weed patch delineation, where weed infestations are detected based on variations in the plant canopy spectral response. Because the canopy spectral response is important for weed detection, discussions on the irradiative interaction of light in plant canopies and the effect of variable soil background on the canopy spectral response are presented in this review. Also, a presentation of the current techniques for removal of soil effects, including vegetation indices and spectral mixture analysis, shows that these techniques have not been adequately developed for use in remote sensing-based weed detection applications. Given the nature of light interaction in a plant canopy, this review proposes that the spectral response of a plant canopy depends on both the species and the biomass density. Remote detection of weeds from ground-, aircraft-, and satellite-based platforms has been accomplished on a wide scale, yet the use of these weed detection methods to make variable-rate herbicide applications has not occurred as often. By judging success based on variable-rate herbicide applications rather than precise weed localization, some of the current problems in weed sensing may be skirted.

remote sensingweed distributionweed detectionvegetation indicesvegetative reflectance

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • K.R. Thorp
    • 1
  • L.F. Tian
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois Laboratory for Agricultural Remote SensingUniversity of IllinoisUSA