Plant Phenomics. 2022 Oct 11;2022:9850486. doi: 10.34133/2022/9850486. eCollection 2022.
Modeling plant canopy biophysical parameters at the individual plant level remains a major challenge. This study presents a workflow for automatic strawberry canopy delineation and biomass prediction from high-resolution images using deep neural networks. High-resolution (5 mm) RGB orthoimages, near-infrared (NIR) orthoimages, and Digital Surface Models (DSM), which were generated by Structure from Motion (SfM), were utilized in this study. Mask R-CNN was applied to the orthoimages of two band combinations (RGB and RGB-NIR) to identify and delineate strawberry plant canopies. The average detection precision rate and recall rate were 97.28% and 99.71% for RGB images and 99.13% and 99.54% for RGB-NIR images, and the mean intersection over union (mIoU) rates for instance segmentation were 98.32% and 98.45% for RGB and RGB-NIR images, respectively. Based on the center of the canopy mask, we imported the cropped RGB, NIR, DSM, and mask images of individual plants to vanilla deep regression models to model canopy leaf area and dry biomass. Two networks (VGG-16 and ResNet-50) were used as the backbone architecture for feature map extraction. The R 2 values of dry biomass models were about 0.76 and 0.79 for the VGG-16 and ResNet-50 networks, respectively. Similarly, the R 2 values of leaf area were 0.82 and 0.84, respectively. The RMSE values were approximately 8.31 and 8.73 g for dry biomass analyzed using the VGG-16 and ResNet-50 networks, respectively. Leaf area RMSE was 0.05 m2 for both networks. This work demonstrates the feasibility of deep learning networks in individual strawberry plant extraction and biomass estimation.