Segmentation of sandplain lupin weeds from morphologically similar narrow-leafed lupins in the field

Narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) is an important dryland crop, providing a protein source in global grain markets.

While agronomic practices have successfully controlled many dicot weeds among narrow-leafed lupins, the closely related sandplain lupin (Lupinus cosentinii) has proven difficult to control, reducing yield and harvest quality.

Here, we successfully trained a segmentation model to detect sandplain lupins and differentiate them from narrow-leafed lupins under field conditions.

The deep learning model was trained using 9171 images collected from a field site in the Western Australian grain belt. Images were collected using an unoccupied aerial vehicle at heights of 4, 10, and 20 m. The dataset was supplemented with images sourced from the WeedAI database, which were collected at 1.5 m. The resultant model had an average precision of 0.86, intersection over union of 0.60, and F1 score of 0.70 for segmenting the narrow-leafed and sandplain lupins across the multiple datasets. Images collected at a closer range and showing plants at an early developmental stage had significantly higher precision and recall scores (p-value < 0.05), indicating image collection methods and plant developmental stages play a substantial role in the model performance. Nonetheless, the model identified 80.3% of the sandplain lupins on average, with a low variation (±6.13%) in performance across the 5 datasets.

The results presented in this study contribute to the development of precision weed management systems within morphologically similar crops, particularly for sandplain lupin detection, supporting future narrow-leafed lupin grain yield and quality.

View the publication.

Keywords: deep learning, herbicide application, image segmentation, Lupinus angustifolius, Lupinus cosentinii, narrow-leafed lupin, precision agriculture, sandplain lupin, weed management

Publication Year: 2023

Authors: Monica F. Danilevicz, Roberto Lujan Rocha, Jacqueline Batley, Philipp E. Bayer, Mohammed Bennamoun, David Edwards, Michael B. Ashworth

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