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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 97 No. 4, p. 1158-1163
    Received: Apr 28, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): htewolde@ars.usda.gov



  1. H. Tewolde *a,
  2. K. R. Sistanib,
  3. D. E. Rowea,
  4. A. Adelia and
  5. T. Tsegayec
  1. a USDA-ARS, 810 Highway 12 East, Mississippi State, MS 39762
    b USDA-ARS, 230 Bennett LN, Bowling Green, KY 42104
    c Alabama A&M Univ., P.O. Box 1208, Normal, AL 35762


AccuPAR, which is a relatively new instrument for estimating leaf area index (LAI) by measuring light interception, has wide distribution but only limited independent evaluation of its accuracy. The objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of AccuPAR for estimating LAI of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) planted on different row spacings. Cotton LAI was measured nondestructively with AccuPAR and destructively by taking plant samples three to four times during each growing season in 2002 and 2003 on research conducted at three locations in Mississippi, USA. The results suggested that meter accuracy was affected by differences between row spacing and the length of the light-sensing segment of the meter. Supplemental tests showed that meter accuracy improved with meter placement, which eliminated length differences and with near solar noon measurements, which minimized row-to-row shading overlap. We conclude that the meter can more accurately estimate row crop LAI when the under-canopy placement of the meter and the time of measurement are selected so that the light-sensing segment of the meter captures shading of an entire row cross-section and that row-to-row shading overlap is eliminated or minimized.

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