Biomass Prediction With 3D Point Clouds From LiDAR
With population growth and a shrinking rural workforce, agricultural technologies have become increasingly important. Above-ground biomass (AGB) is a key trait relevant to breeding, agronomy and crop physiology field experiments. However, measuring the biomass of a cereal plot requires cutting, drying and weighing processes, which are laborious, expensive and destructive tasks. This paper proposes a non-destructive and high-throughput method to predict biomass from field samples based on Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). Unlike previous methods that are based on the density of a point cloud or plant height, our biomass prediction network (BioNet) additionally considers plant structure. Our BioNet contains three modules: 1) a completion module to predict missing points due to canopy occlusion; 2) a regularization module to regularize the neural representation of the whole plot; and 3) a projection module to learn the salient structures from a bird's eye view of the point cloud. An attention-based fusion block is used to achieve final biomass predictions. In addition, the complete dataset, including hand-measured biomass and LiDAR data, is made available to the community. Experiments show that our BioNet achieves approximately 33% improvement over current state-of-the-art methods.