Submitted to: International Conference on Precision Agriculture Abstracts & Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The SE US Coastal Plain has unique characteristics that require specialized techniques to explain yield variations and to develop management zones. This paper discusses several new methods to estimate yield variations for the development of management zones. Four techniques were developed based on the following: yield maps, black and white bare ground aerial photos, soil survey maps, and automated regular polygons. Two project fields were used for a detailed analysis of these techniques. Eight other fields were included for comparison. Results indicated that the amount of yield variation explained is related to the number of polygons used, regardless of the method used to generate the polygons. Therefore, an easily automated procedure based on regular polygons appears to be the least costly approach. Increasing the number of polygons per field reduces the size of each polygon; thus a limit will be reached at which regular polygons are not practical. Since the placement of regular polygons is arbitrary, the description of yield depends on where each polygon lands with respect to the yield variation. However, corn-based polygons showed more potential in explaining yield variation of other corn crops with fewer polygons (or fewer management zones). The prior-year corn yield maps were the preferred method of defining management zones, especially for corn followed by corn.