post leaf Post

user picture Paul Carter

Apps for identifying weeds – do they work?

  • 4
  • votes

Apps for identifying weeds – do they work?

 

 


As we work with crops, we all know we need to be able to identify weeds, but we are not all expert and experienced weed scientists.

A few years ago I read an article by Dr. Jared Goplen, a weed scientist and Extension Educator at the University of Minnesota, about a free app that identifies plants, including weeds by using facial recognition software and machine-learning to provide an instantaneous “likely” ID.

https://blog-crop-news.extension.umn.edu/2019/04/take-picture-identify-weeds.html

The app provides descriptions and pictures of the “likely” matches to help determine what the species might be. The app is at website called iNaturalist, a tool commonly used by those working in natural resources.

https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started

Dr. Goplen indicated that even difficult identifications would at least key to the genus-level with the photo-recognition aspect. This could speed up the process of using a weed-ID key or guidebook to make a positive ID. There is a crowdsourcing function to generate a positive ID for you or confirm your ID.

I tried the app in 2019 and had some success, but also some challenges. I just added the app to my smart phone again and plan to give a try to see if there have been improvements.

Has anyone else on the TopYield Ag network had experience with this or these similar plant (weed) Id apps?

Plant Snap

https://www.plantsnap.com/?source_type=partner&source_id=Clever

Plant Net

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/plantnet/id600547573

Others?

  • Corn
  • Crop Management
  • Soybeans
  • Weeds

response leaf 5 responses

  • 4
  • votes

I have iNaturalist on my phone, also. My experience is that it is not perfect, but it is very good at providing a rather short list of possible suspects. I can usually eliminate a few on the list right away and then use a key to narrow it down to one.

 

Sometimes people will shoot me a picture of a plant/weed and ask what it is. If it is one with which I am not familiar, I will display it on my computer screen and then use iNaturalist; it usually works amazingly well to get me a short list of possible suspects, even this way. The better the picture, the shorter the list.

  • 1
  • vote

Thanks much Virgil. Very helpful background and experience. I also loaded the PlantNet app and will give this a try too.

  • 1
  • vote

After you give them both a try, I would be interested in a compare - contrast between the two from you. I'll also give PlantNet a try.

  • 2
  • votes

Virgil:

I used both the iNaturalist and PlantNet apps this week and liked both, but prefer the iNaturalist if I was to choose just one. It has really improved from my last try in 2019. It continuously integrates several images into an identification when one positions the device to face the plant and asks the user to keep trying different angles to improve the ID to species level, rather than just one photo as in the past and for the PlantNet App. It also informs the user that it is getting close to a species identification....keep trying more angles.

One feature I did like about PlantNet is one can see other similar images taken by others and one can compare these to yours. The name, time, and location of the person who took the other images are identified if the person allows. 

Both are good with broadleaves and usually could get to the species level if the plant had some height and development. Usually they agreed on the species, but not always.

Neither was great with very small plants -- or grasses unless there was an obvious seed head.

  • 1
  • vote

Good to know. I haven't had a chance to try PlantNet yet.

response leaf My response

Log in to respond