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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Enhancing Water Conservation and Crop Productivity in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

Title: Relationship between cotton yield and soil electrical conductivity, topography, and landsat imagery

Authors
item Guo, Wenxuan -
item Maas, Stephan -
item Bronson, Kevin

Submitted to: Precision Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 8, 2012
Publication Date: August 14, 2012
Repository URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/w71704112102x75p/fulltext.pdf
Citation: Guo, W., Maas, S.J., Bronson, K.F. 2012. Relationship between cotton yield and soil electrical conductivity, topography, and landsat imagery. Precision Agriculture. doi:10.1007/s11119-012-9277-2.

Interpretive Summary: Understanding spatial and temporal variability in crop yield is a prerequisite to implementing site-specific management of crop inputs. Apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa), soil brightness, and topography are easily obtained data that can explain yield variability. In this study we evaluated the spatial and temporal variability in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yield and determined the relationship between yield and soil ECa, topography, and bare soil brightness in a West Texas cotton field from 2000 to 2005. Yield was negatively correlated with bare soil brightness and positively correlated with ECa. All together, ECa, topographic attributes, and bare soil brightness explained up to 70.1 % of cotton yield variability. Bare soil brightness and ECa were strongly related to soil texture. Yield most strongly correlated with soil properties in dry years. Cotton yield variability pattern was relatively stable across different growing seasons. Soil texture was one of the greatest factors influencing cotton yield variability. Results of this study provide a basis for site-specific management of yield goals and variable rate application of water, fertilizers, seeds, and other inputs.

Technical Abstract: Understanding spatial and temporal variability in crop yield is a prerequisite to implementing site-specific management of crop inputs. Apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa), soil brightness, and topography are easily obtained data that can explain yield variability. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the spatial and temporal variability in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yield and determine the relationship between yield and soil ECa, topography, and bare soil brightness at a field level in multiple growing seasons. A 50-ha field grown with cotton from 2000 to 2003 and 2005 on the Southern High Plains of Texas was selected for this study. Yield was negatively correlated with bare soil brightness (-0.47\r\-0.33 for red band) and positively correlated with ECa (0.08\r\0.29 for 30-cm ECa and 0.28\r\0.44 for 90-cm ECa). Yield had stronger correlation with relative elevation and slope than with profile curvature and planar curvature. Combined, ECa, topographic attributes, and bare soil brightness explained up to 70.1 % of cotton yield variability. Bare soil brightness and ECa were strongly related to soil texture. Brighter soils with low ECa values had lower clay content. Yield and soil properties had stronger correlation in dry growing seasons than in wet growing seasons. Cotton yield variability pattern was relatively stable across different growing seasons. Soil texture was one of the greatest factors influencing cotton yield variability. Results of this study provide a basis for site-specific management of yield goals and variable rate application of water, fertilizers, seeds, and other inputs.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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