Delineating productivity zones in a citrus grove using citrus production, tree growth and temporally stable soil data
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The productivity of a citrus grove with variation in tree growth was mapped to delineate zones of productivity based on several indicator properties. These properties were fruit yield, ultrasonically measured tree canopy volume, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), elevation and apparent electrical conductivity (ECa). The spatial patterns of soil series, soil color and ECa, and their correspondence with the variation in yield emphasized the importance of variation in the soil in differentiating the productivity of the grove. Citrus fruit yield was positively correlated with canopy volume, NDVI and ECa, and yield was negatively correlated with elevation. Although all the properties were strongly correlated with yield and were able to explain the productivity of the grove, citrus tree canopy volume was most strongly correlated (r = 0.85) with yield, explaining 73% of its variation. Tree canopy volume was used to classify the citrus grove into five productivity zones termed as ‘very poor’, ‘poor’, ‘medium’, ‘good’ and ‘very good’ zones. The study showed that productivity of citrus groves can be mapped using various attributes that directly or indirectly affect citrus production. The productivity zones identified could be used successfully to plan soil sampling and characterize soil variation in new fields.
KeywordsCitrus Soil Variation Productivity zone Yield Canopy volume NDVI Elevation Apparent electrical conductivity (ECa)
This research was supported by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and the Hunt Brothers graduate fellowship. The authors would like to thank Mosaic Co. for the use of their grove, Kevin Hostler, Reza Ehsani, Sherrie Buchanan, and other staff members of the CREC and SWS departments who assisted in this study. Mention of trade names and commercial products is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation by the University of Florida or its cooperators.
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