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David Sparks Ph.d Counting Apples
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: February 16, 2017

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So a guy growing apples wants to know how many apples are on his tree before the apples are mature. You could go around and try to count but that's not so easy because the immature apples are pretty much the same color as the leaves so how do you figure it out? Enter Northwest Nazarene University Professor Dr. Duke Bulanon who has received a $90,000 specialty crop grant from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. Dr. Bulanon's challenge is finding a camera with the right wavelength. "The first phase of the research will be trying to determine what type of wavelength we are going to need to have an optimal detection of the fruits because detecting fruits early in the season when the fruits appear, their color is the same as the leaves. It is difficult to differentiate them from the leaves. Right now the cameras that are commonly used are RGB or the visible one. With those, it's difficult to differentiate the fruit from the leaves so we are trying to see if we will be using a special type of camera called a multi-spectral camera and with those there are different bands and you can see what particular band the fruit will differentiate itself from the leaves and from there, once we are able to detect the fruit we will then try to make a correlation with the number of fruits that we see from the outside to the total number of fruits in the tree and then try to predict the yield of that particular tree.

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