Cranberries are grown in sensitive wetland ecosystems and precision farming could be beneficial to reduce agro-chemical pollution and increase production without expanding area. Precision farming requires knowledge of the variation of yield within-fields but cranberry harvesting methods produce only one yield value per field unless an expensive pre-harvest berry count is done. Co-operatives and extension services have an important role in precision farming to: (1) determine important factors affecting yield patterns within a growing region and (2) identify fields that would benefit most from future intensive survey. This paper reports a study to investigate temporal and spatial patterns in useable and poor quality cranberry yield for the New Jersey (NJ), USA growing region. Principal components analysis indicated that mean growing season temperature is important for understanding temporal patterns in useable yield and maximum temperatures and precipitation for poor quality yield. Multiple linear regression showed that some cultivars were susceptible to disease and poor quality yield in years with high maximum growing season temperatures. Analysis of spatial patterns using area to area and area to point kriging, local cluster analysis and geographically weighted regression helped identify clusters of fields that were consistently yielding or alternated between high and low yielding. They also showed differences between owners and soil types particularly in hot or wet years showing the different response to soil types to weather and the potential for improvement in irrigation practices by some owners. The methods used should be useful for other growing regions and crops, particularly where there are no yield monitors.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 23, 2016
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