An apparatus is described for assessing plant status using biophysical and biochemical properties of the plant remotely sensed by the invention thereby allowing selective monitoring, elimination or treatment of individual plants. In a preferred embodiment, a single polychromatic emitter provides coincident light beams; one beam substantially in the visible portion of the spectrum (400 nm to 700 nm) and the other in the near infrared (NIR) portion of the spectrum (700 nm to 1100 nm). This light beam illuminates a small surface area on the ground, which may be bare ground, desired plants or undesired weeds. The beam of light may be focused, collimated or non-focused. A detector array, usually composed of a visible detector and a NIR detector, detects portions of this polychromatic light beam reflected by the surface area and provides a signal indicative of whether the detected light was reflected by a plant or by some non-plant object such as soil. A controller analyzes this signal and, assuming a plant is detected, responds by activating a device to take some action with respect to the plant or stores the analyzed signal with corresponding DGPS position in the controller’s memory for later analysis. A number of actions may be taken by the controller. For instance, if the plant is a weed, the desired action might be to spray herbicide on the weed. Or, if the plant is a crop that is determined to be lacking in nutrient, the desired action may be to apply fertilizer. Additionally, if the plant under test is a turf landscape, such as found on golf courses and sporting fields, plant biomass may be mapped and geo-located using GPS for later, comparative analysis.