Toulouse Field

Node 6: Toulouse Field - AgroPhen

Experiental Unit UE 802 ‘Grandes cultures Auzeville' and joint research Unit UMR 1248 ‘Agrosystèmes et agricultures, Gestion des ressources, Innovation et Ruralité'

Toulouse-Auzeville represents the low-altitude oceanic climate, representative of the south west of France. It is characterised by mild winters, wet springs and usually hot summers with variable rainfall. This causes a risk of fungal diseases for both winter and summer crops, and of mild to severe drought stress mainly for summer crops. AgroPhen is therefore adapted for the  joint analysis of biotic stresses with drought, for species such as sunflower, wheat, maize, soybean and pea. Maps of soil texture, soil structure and electric conductivity were carried out in the whole installation. A sensor network characterizes micrometeorological conditions and soil water content every hour.

Imaging is performed via the phenomobile of Phenome Emphasis and UAVs (two hexacopters). The phenomobile allows precise measurement of the vertical distribution of leaf area or ear number, together with multispectral measurements for functional imaging in a range of species with a throughput of 100-200 microplots per hour. It is equipped with a LiDAR, multispectral cameras and high resolution visible cameras, with active illumination that rend imaging independent of natural light. Imaging with UAVs involves multiple images in the visible and near infrared spectra for measurements such as canopy height and indices such as NDVI. It also involves imaging of transpiration via thermal imaging.  Data are stored in the PHIS information system.

The facility hosts a comprehensive precision agriculture equipment for micro-plot trial management with sowing and harvesting machines equipped with high precision GPS and a comprehensive information system based a GIS for agricultural management. A classic experiment consists of 8 m², for cereals, to 30 m², for sunflower and maize (adapted to panels of 200-300 genotypes). Two crop managements (based on irrigation and N nutrition) can be dealt with.


Philippe Burger , Gilles Tison


Modification date: 31 August 2023 | Publication date: 26 July 2013 | By: Pamela LUCAS