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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 602647, 12 pages
Research Article

Use of a Digital Camera to Monitor the Growth and Nitrogen Status of Cotton

1The Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecological Agriculture, Xinjiang Production and Construction Group/College of Agriculture, Shihezi University, Shihezi, Xinjiang 832000, China
2Xinjiang Shida Sender Technology Co. Ltd, Shihezi, Xinjiang 832000, China

Received 24 November 2013; Accepted 16 January 2014; Published 27 February 2014

Academic Editors: Y. I. Kuk and B. Uzun

Copyright © 2014 Biao Jia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The main objective of this study was to develop a nondestructive method for monitoring cotton growth and N status using a digital camera. Digital images were taken of the cotton canopies between emergence and full bloom. The green and red values were extracted from the digital images and then used to calculate canopy cover. The values of canopy cover were closely correlated with the normalized difference vegetation index and the ratio vegetation index and were measured using a GreenSeeker handheld sensor. Models were calibrated to describe the relationship between canopy cover and three growth properties of the cotton crop (i.e., aboveground total N content, LAI, and aboveground biomass). There were close, exponential relationships between canopy cover and three growth properties. And the relationships for estimating cotton aboveground total N content were most precise, the coefficients of determination () value was 0.978, and the root mean square error (RMSE) value was 1.479 g m−2. Moreover, the models were validated in three fields of high-yield cotton. The result indicated that the best relationship between canopy cover and aboveground total N content had an value of 0.926 and an RMSE value of 1.631 g m−2. In conclusion, as a near-ground remote assessment tool, digital cameras have good potential for monitoring cotton growth and N status.