Optical sensors, coupled with mathematical algorithms, have proven effective at determining more accurate mid-season nitrogen (N) fertilizer recommendations in winter wheat. One parameter required in making these recommendations is in-season grain yield potential at the time of sensing. Four algorithms, with different methods for determining grain yield potential, were evaluated for effectiveness to predict final grain yield and the agronomic optimum N rate (AONR) at 34 site-years. The current N fertilizer optimization algorithm (CNFOA) outperformed the other three algorithms at predicting yield potential with no added N and yield potential with added N (R2 = 0.46 and 0.25, respectively). However, no differences were observed in the amount of variability accounted for among all four algorithms in regards to predicting the AONR. Differences were observed in that the CNFOA and proposed N fertilizer optimization algorithm (PNFOA), under predicted the AONR at approximately 75 % of the site-years; whereas, the generalized algorithm (GA) and modified generalized algorithm (MGA) recommended N rates under the AONR at about 50 % of the site-years. The PNFOA was able to determine N rate recommendations within 20 kg N ha−1 of the AONR for half of the site-years; whereas, the other three algorithms were only able recommend within 20 kg N ha−1 of the AONR for about 40 % of the site-years. Lastly, all four algorithms reported more accurate N rate recommendations compared to non-sensor based methodologies and can more precisely account for the year to year variability in grain yields due to environment.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 14, 2016
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