Analysis of spatio-temporal field productivity of a wheat field in southern prairie region
The site-specific management of agriculture inputs have spawned a revolution in how farmers are managing their fields with the improvement in technology involving variable rate chemical applications and geographic positioning system. No longer do fertilizer and pesticides need to be applied uniformly across a field, but now may be varied to match the soil potential as the soil type varies across the field. Success of this method of precision farming depends on being able to set application rates matching field productivity. Unfortunately, little information is available on how variable yields are across fields, what patterns of yield can be expected, and how consistent these patterns are from year to year. In this study we found that wheat yield varies across a field, but that the yield pattern is not the same each year. Overall spring soil moisture level does affect the strength of the spatial pattern.This information is important to those trying to use yield patterns for making chemical applications for precision farming. Our study indicates that several years are needed before a clear pattern of yield potential can be determined.
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