Enhancing the value of field experimentation through whole-of-block designs

Enhancing the value of field experimentation through whole-of-block designs Precision agriculture (PA) offers opportunities for the development of new approaches to on-farm experimentation to assist farmers with site-specific management decisions. Traditional agricultural experiments are usually implemented in fields with the least possible soil heterogeneity under the assumption that responses to inputs and inherent variation of the soil are additive components of yield variation. However, because the soil in typical fields is not homogeneous, PA has much to offer. Farmers faced with variable conditions need to optimize their management to the variation over space and time on their farm, a problem that is not solved by conventional approaches to experimentation. New designs for on-farm experiments were developed in the 1990s for cereal production in which the whole field was used for the experiment rather than small plots. We explore the extension of this type of experiment to a vineyard in the Clare Valley of South Australia aiming to evaluate options to increase grape yield and vine vigour. Manually sampled indices of vine performance measured on georeferenced ‘target’ grapevines were analysed geostatistically. The major advantage of such an approach is that the spatial variation in response to experimental treatments can be examined. Linear models of coregionalization, pseudo cross-variograms and standardized ordinary cokriging are used to map treatment responses over the experimental area and also the differences between them. The results indicate that both treatment responses and the significance of differences between them are spatially variable. Thus, we conclude that whole-of-block on-farm trials are useful in vineyards. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Precision Agriculture Springer Journals

Enhancing the value of field experimentation through whole-of-block designs

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Life Sciences; Agriculture; Soil Science & Conservation; Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry; Statistics for Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry and Earth Sciences; Atmospheric Sciences
ISSN
1385-2256
eISSN
1573-1618
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11119-009-9128-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Precision agriculture (PA) offers opportunities for the development of new approaches to on-farm experimentation to assist farmers with site-specific management decisions. Traditional agricultural experiments are usually implemented in fields with the least possible soil heterogeneity under the assumption that responses to inputs and inherent variation of the soil are additive components of yield variation. However, because the soil in typical fields is not homogeneous, PA has much to offer. Farmers faced with variable conditions need to optimize their management to the variation over space and time on their farm, a problem that is not solved by conventional approaches to experimentation. New designs for on-farm experiments were developed in the 1990s for cereal production in which the whole field was used for the experiment rather than small plots. We explore the extension of this type of experiment to a vineyard in the Clare Valley of South Australia aiming to evaluate options to increase grape yield and vine vigour. Manually sampled indices of vine performance measured on georeferenced ‘target’ grapevines were analysed geostatistically. The major advantage of such an approach is that the spatial variation in response to experimental treatments can be examined. Linear models of coregionalization, pseudo cross-variograms and standardized ordinary cokriging are used to map treatment responses over the experimental area and also the differences between them. The results indicate that both treatment responses and the significance of differences between them are spatially variable. Thus, we conclude that whole-of-block on-farm trials are useful in vineyards.

Journal

Precision AgricultureSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 6, 2009

References

  • The geostatistical analysis of experiments at the landscape-scale
    Bishop, TFA; Lark, RM
  • A landscape-scale experiment on the changes in available potassium over a winter wheat cropping season
    Bishop, TFA; Lark, RM

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