DFCANet: A Novel Lightweight Convolutional Neural Network Model for Corn Disease Identification

Yang Chen, Xiaoyulong Chen, Jianwu Lin, Renyong Pan, Tengbao Cao, Jitong Cai, Dianzhi Yu, Tomislav Cernava, Xin Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The identification of corn leaf diseases in a real field environment faces several difficulties, such as complex background disturbances, variations and irregularities in the lesion areas, and large intra-class and small inter-class disparities. Traditional Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) models have a low recognition accuracy and a large number of parameters. In this study, a lightweight corn disease identification model called DFCANet (Double Fusion block with Coordinate Attention Network) is proposed. The DFCANet consists mainly of two components: The dual feature fusion with coordinate attention and the Down-Sampling (DS) modules. The DFCA block contains dual feature fusion and Coordinate Attention (CA) modules. In order to completely fuse the shallow and deep features, these features were fused twice. The CA module suppresses the background noise and focuses on the diseased area. In addition, the DS module is used for down-sampling. It reduces the loss of information by expanding the feature channel dimension and the Depthwise convolution. The results show that DFCANet has an average recognition accuracy of 98.47%. It is more efficient at identifying corn leaf diseases in real scene images, compared with VGG16 (96.63%), ResNet50 (93.27%), EffcientNet-B0 (97.24%), ConvNeXt-B (94.18%), DenseNet121 (95.71%), MobileNet-V2 (95.41%), MobileNetv3-Large (96.33%), and ShuffleNetV2-1.0× (94.80%) methods. Moreover, the model’s Params and Flops are 1.91M and 309.1M, respectively, which are lower than heavyweight network models and most lightweight network models. In general, this study provides a novel, lightweight, and efficient convolutional neural network model for corn disease identification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2047
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • corn leaf disease
  • DFCANet
  • lightweight model
  • real scene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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