Detecting corn tassels using computer vision and support vector machines


EXPERT SYSTEMS WITH APPLICATIONS, vol.41, no.16, pp.7390-7397, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 16
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.eswa.2014.06.013
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.7390-7397
  • Keywords: Support vector machine, Computer vision, Image processing, Maize tassel detection, FEATURES
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


An automated solution for maize detasseling is very important for maize growers who want to reduce production costs. Quality assurance of maize requires constantly monitoring production fields to ensure that only hybrid seed is produced. To achieve this cross-pollination, tassels of female plants have to be removed for ensuring all the pollen for producing the seed crop comes from the male rows. This removal process is called detasseling. Computer vision methods could help positioning the cutting locations of tassels to achieve a more precise detasseling process in a row. In this study, a computer vision algorithm was developed to detect cutting locations of corn tassels in natural outdoor maize canopy using conventional color images and computer vision with a minimum number of false positives. Proposed algorithm used color informations with a support vector classifier for image binarization. A number of morphological operations were implemented to determine potential tassel locations. Shape and texture features were used to reduce false positives. A hierarchical clustering method was utilized to merge multiple detections for the same tassel and to determine the final locations of tassels. Proposed algorithm performed with a correct detection rate of 81.6% for the test set. Detection of maize tassels in natural canopy images is a quite difficult task due to various backgrounds, different illuminations, occlusions, shadowed regions, and color similarities. The results of the study indicated that detecting cut location of corn tassels is feasible using regular color images. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.