Frequency Analysis of Yield for Delineating Yield Response Zones
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The yield in any given field or management zone is a product of interaction between many soil properties and production inputs. Therefore, multi-year yield maps may give better insight into determining potential management zones. This research was conducted to develop a methodology to delineate yield response zones by using two-state frequency analysis conducted on yield maps for 3 years on two commercial corn fields near Wiggins, Colorado. A zone was identified by the number of years that yield was equal and greater than the average yield in a given year. Classes producing statistically similar yield were combined resulting in three potential yield zones. Results indicated that the variability of yield over time and space could successfully be assessed at the same time without the drawbacks of averaging data from different years. Frequency analysis of multi-year yield data could be an effective way to establish yield response zones. Seventeen percent of the field #1 consistently produced lower yield than the mean while 43 of the field produced yield over the mean. Corresponding values for field #2 were 6% and 42%.The remainder of the fields produced fluctuating yields between years. These spatially and temporally sound yield response maps could be used to identify the yield-limiting factors in zones where yield is either low or fluctuating. Yield response maps could also be helpful to delineate potential management zones with the help of resource zones such as electrical conductivity and soil maps, along with the directed soil sampling results.
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