Volume 12, Number 4

Predictive Model for Maize Stem Borers’ Classification in Precision Farming


Ezeofor Chukwunazo1, Akpado Kenneth2 and Ulasi Afamefuna3, 1University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 2NnamdiAzikiwe University, Nigeria, 3Federal University of Technology, Nigeria


This paper presents Predictive Model for Stem Borers’ classification in Precision Farming. The recent announcement of the aggressive attack of stem borers (Spodoptera species) to maize crops in Africa is alarming. These species migrate in large numbers and feed on maize leaf, stem, and ear of corn. The male of these species are the target because after mating with their female counterpart, thousands of eggs are laid which produces larvae that create the havoc. Currently, Nigerian farmers find it difficult to distinguish between these targeted species (Fall Armyworm-FAW, African Armyworm-AAW and Egyptian cotton leaf worm-ECLW only) because they look alike in appearance. For these reasons, the network model that would predict the presence of these species in the maize farm to farmers is proposed. The maize species were captured using delta pheromone traps and laboratory breeding for each category. The captured images were pre-processed and stored in an online Google drive image dataset folder created. The convolutional neural network (CNN) model for classifying these targeted maize moths was designed from the scratch. The Google Colab platform with Python libraries was used to train the model called MothNet. The images of the FAW, AAW, and ECLW were inputted to the designed MothNet model during learning process. Dropout and data augmentation were added to the architecture of the model for an efficient prediction. After training the MothNet model, the validation accuracy achieved was 90.37% with validation loss of 24.72%, and training accuracy 90.8% with loss of 23.25%, and the training occurred within 5minutes 33seconds. Due to the small amount of images gathered (1674), the model prediction on each image was of low confident. Because of this, transfer learning was deployed and Resnet 50 pretrained model selected and modified. The modified ResNet-50 model was fine-tuned and tested. The model validation accuracy achieved was 99.21%, loss of 3.79%, and training accuracy of 99.75% with loss of 2.55% within 10mins 5 seconds. Hence, MothNet model can be improved on by gathering more images and retraining the system for optimum performance while modified ResNet 50 is recommended to be integrated in Internet of Things device for maize moths’ classification on-site.


Fall Army Worm, African Army Worm, Egyptian Cotton Leaf Worm, Precision Farming, Convolutional Neural Network, Maize crop, ResNet, Stemborers.