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Development of a Crop Yield Stability Methodology for a Field

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008335.(doi:10.13031/2013.30024)
Authors:   James M McKinion, Jeffrey L Willers
Keywords:   Precision agriculture, image processing, GIS, krigging, LIDAR, yield monitor, crop stability map

Here we present a methodology used to develop a yield stability map for a field. We proposed that there exist yield stability patters for commercial field crop production which growers can use to optimize crop production while minimizing inputs. The methodology uses multiple years of multi-crop yield monitor data and a high resolution, high density LIDAR (light detection and ranging using a laser light source similar to radar but much higher accuracy) digital elevation map of the field. These data are analyzed using ESRI GIS (geographic information system), ERDAS Imagine image processing, and SAS (Company and brand names are used for information only and do not represent a recommendation or endorsement by the USDA-ARS) (SAS2008). statistical analysis to produce detailed, multiple component GIS map which shows transitions for low yielding through medium yielding to the most productive high yielding areas of the field. The statistical procedures make use of krigging, cluster analysis, and simple quadratic regression to produce a statistically sound three-component map showing low-, medium- and high-yield zones in the field. The three-component map is based on a 3 m by 3 m pixel density and provides an immediate visualization tool for the grower to plan crop management practices.

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