Aerial surveys were conducted over portions of Southampton County, Virginia, during the 1974 growing season. The flights were conducted to determine the spectral, spatial, and temporal characteristics of Sclerotinia blight in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) fields caused by the soil-borne fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Natural color and false color infrared imagery were used in the aerial surveys. Disease detection was best using false color infrared imagery. Sclerotinia blight, characterized by a unique spectral signature, can be detected on false color infrared imagery taken at 19,803 m above mean sea level. High altitude flights (19,803 m) were better for large area disease surveys. However, low altitude flights (3,504 m) gave better resolution for detailed study of individual fields. Aerial photography detected disease patterns which were difficult to observe from the ground. Early detection of the disease via aerial surveys could aid in minimizing disease severity. Imagery will also provide historical data that can be used in implementing control measures in subsequent growing seasons. Imagery evaluation indicates that Sclerotinia blight was widespread in the peanut growing region of Virginia during the 1974 growing season.
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Keywords: Arachis hypogaea, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Whetzelinia sclerotiorum, natural color imagery, false color infrared imagery, spectral signature, Groundnut, soil-borne fungus, sclerotia
How to Cite:
Powell, N. & Porter, D. & Pettry, D.,
(1976) “Use of Aerial Photography to Detect Diseases in Peanut Fields I. Sclerotinia Blight¹”,
Peanut Science 3(1),