Dr. Mustafa Mirik, assistant research scientist with Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, and a team of collaborators, are looking at plant damage and stress in wheat. Their current work deals with damage caused by aphids. In the future, the team plans to include other stress factors, such as drought and disease.
Using remote sensing technology, Mirik and his team employed hyperspectral and multispectral equipment to help assess insect damage from greater distances. Field scouting alone does not yield such extensive information. They took multispectral images ranging from near ultraviolet through most of the visible light spectrum. The more sensitive hyperspectral equipment also allows the scientists to see much higher wave length than visible light. If the observations are sensitive enough, the scope of the damage can be determined accurately. The goal is to help a farmer pinpoint where treatment applications need to go.