Source: University of Illinois

To improve the process of counting corn stalks and gather other important information from agriculture experimental fields, University of Illinois agricultural engineer Tony Grift developed an innovative device that eliminates the need for manually counting plants. Mounted with laser transmitters and an on-board computer, the machine allows for corn stalk counting to be accomplished with greater ease and enhanced accuracy.

"In experimental corn fields, an important performance indicator is the number of plants that emerge as a proxy for seed germination rate," said Grift. "Another important factor is the spacing between plants and the presence of 'doubles.' Doubles are caused by dual seeds that have dropped close together, resulting in two inferior plants rather than a single, full-grown plant. Consistent spacing and the absence or presence of doubles can serve as a quality measure of a planter."

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