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Toulouse Field platform, AgroPhen, node 6

Research units and/or experimental units implied :

Unité Expérimentale ‘Grandes cultures Auzeville (UE802) et Unité Mixte de Recherche ‘Agrosystèmes et agricultures, Gestion des ressources, Innovation et Ruralité (AGIR, UMR1248)

Facility caracteristics

Toulouse-Auzeville represents the low-altitude oceanic climate, representative of the south west ofFrance. It is characterised by mild winters, wet springs and usually hot summers with variable rainfall. Thus, there are risks of fungal diseases for both winter and summer crops, and of mild to severe drought stress mainly for summer crops. A panel of soil N status ranging from 30 to100 kgN/ha at the end of winter will be created by appropriate crop rotations and previous crop management to differentiate early N availability. Electro conductivity maps as well as yield maps on homogenization crops were used to choose the areas eligible for experiments. A soil survey conducted in 2016 will produce a soil map and a water holding capacity map by early 2017.


The platform management is GIS based and the agricultural devices for sowing and harvesting of cereals, legumes (Pea, soybean), maize and sunflower are equipped with high precision GPS. The platform is equipped with Enviroscan (Sentek) soil humidity sensors to monitor water stress level experienced by the crop. An mechanical tool has been developed to ease tube installation. The sensor data is collected through the Agriscope® wireless system and is available on-line. The irrigation equipment is based on drum & boom systems with low drift nozzles. 


A classic experiment consists of 8 m², for cereals, to 30 m², for sunflower, microplots. Two crop managements (based on irrigation and N nutrition) can be dealed with on a 200-genotypes collection within a cropping season.

A UAV system is operated by three UAV-pilots. The pay load consists of either a high resolution RGB camera or a set of a multispectral camera (450, 532, 568, 675, 730, 850 nm) and a Flir Tau2 thermal infra-red camera. A new field phenotyping robot, Phenomobile v2, adapted to tall crops is under development. This robot will make it possible to scan the microplots with a set of 2 RGB cameras (nadir and lateral view angle), 3 LIDAR as well as a set of spectrometers. The active lighting system enables high quality measurements even in changing natural sun light conditions. The first tests of this new system are schedule for 2017. A portable hyper spectral spectrometer will be available for leaf level measurements. 


Alexis Comar,Philippe Burger,Benoit de Solan,Frédéric Baret,Fabrice Daumard and Jean-François Hanocq, 2012. A semi-automatic system for high throughput phenotyping wheat cultivars in-field conditions: description and first results Functional. Plant Biology 39(11): 914-924



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Agrophen plots

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Tool to install the access tube of the Enviroscan sensors (Sentek) developped from a modified soil sampler.

The platform prevents soil compaction during installation. A specific guide helps to push the tube down the pre-bore hole to ensure a good contact between the soil and the tube.

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Channel 3 (0-120 cm) of electrical resistivity measurements on Inra-Auzeville experimental farm. The red boundaries outline the plots that can be used for large scale phenotyping experiments. The dots show the sampling location of 2016 soil survey. 

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Development of an image analysis software to evaluate sunflower crop density from UAV based RGB images.

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Schematic views of Phenommobile v2 (tall crop version)

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