When utilizing optical sensors to make in-season agronomic recommendations in winter wheat, one parameter often required is the in-season grain yield potential at the time of sensing. Current estimates use an estimate of biomass, such as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and growing degree days (GDDs) from planting to NDVI data collection. The objective of this study was to incorporate soil moisture data to improve the ability to predict final grain yield in-season. Crop NDVI, GDDs that were adjusted based upon if there was adequate water for crop growth, and the amount of soil profile (0–0.80 m) water were incorporated into a multiple linear regression model to predict final grain yield. Twenty-two site-years of N fertility trials with in-season grain yield predictions for growth stages ranging from Feekes 3 to 10 were utilized to calibrate the model. Three models were developed: one for all soil types, one for loamy soil textured sites, and one for coarse soil textured sites. The models were validated with 11 independent site-years of NDVI and weather data. The results indicated there was no added benefit to having separate models based upon soil types. Typically, the models that included soil moisture, more accurately predicted final grain yield. Across all site years and growth stages, yield prediction estimates that included soil moisture had an R2 = 0.49, while the current model without a soil moisture adjustment had an R2 = 0.40.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 14, 2016
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