Proper nutrient management is essential to increase yield, quality and profit. This study was conducted to estimate the N concentrations of Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris L. ssp. pekinensis 'Norangbom') plug seedlings using visible and near infrared spectroscopy for nondestructive N detection. Chinese cabbage seeds were sown and raised in three 200-cell plug trays filled with growing mixture in a plant growth chamber with three different levels (40%, 80%, and 100%) of required N. Reflectance for leaves of Chinese cabbage seedlings was measured with a spectrophotometer 15 days after the experiment started. Reflectance was measured in the 400 to 2500 nm wavelength range at 1.1-nm increments. The leaves were dried afterwards to measure their water content and were analyzed for their actual N contents. The experiment was repeated twice (group I and II). Correlation coefficient spectrum, standard deviation spectrum, stepwise multiple linear regression (SMLR), and partial least squares (PLS) regression were used to determine wavelengths for N prediction models. Performances of SMLR and PLS were similar. For the validation data set (group II), SMLR produced an r2 of 0.846 and PLS yielded r2 of 0.840. The most significant wavelength 710 nm, which was identified by all methods, was correlated to chlorophyll. Water content positively correlated with N concentration (r = 0.76). Wavelengths of 1467, 1910, and 1938 nm selected by SMLR from both groups also showed that water had a strong effect on N prediction. Wavelengths near 2136 nm indicated that protein had potential use in N prediction. Wavelengths near 550 and 840 nm could also contribute to N prediction.
- Diffuse reflectance
- Nitrogen band