Soil, landscape and hybrid factors are known to influence yield and quality of corn (Zea mays L.). This study employed artificial neural network (ANN) analysis to evaluate the relative importance of selected soil, landscape and seed hybrid factors on yield and grain quality in two Illinois, USA fields. About 7 to 13 important factors were identified that could explain from 61% to 99% of the observed yield or quality variability in the study site-years. Hybrid was found to be the most important factor overall for quality in both fields, and for yield as well in Field 1. The relative importance of soil and landscape factors for corn yield and quality and their relationships differed by hybrid and field. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) and relative elevation were consistently identified as among the top four most important soil and landscape factors for both corn yield and quality in both fields in 2000. Aspect and Zn were among the top five most important factors in Fields 1 and 2, respectively. Compound topographic index (CTI), profile curvature and tangential curvature were, in general, not important in the study site-years. The response curves generated by the ANN models were more informative than simple correlation coefficients or coefficients in multiple regression equations. We conclude that hybrid was more important than soil and landscape factors for consideration in precision crop management, especially when grain quality was a management objective.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 7, 2006
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