At the plot level, crop simulation models such as STICS have the potential to evaluate risk associated with management practices. In nitrogen (N) management, however, the decision-making process is complex because the decision has to be taken without any knowledge of future weather conditions. The objective of this paper is to present a general methodology for assessing yield variability linked to climatic uncertainty and variable N rate strategies. The STICS model was coupled with the LARS-Weather Generator. The Pearson system and coefficients were used to characterise the shape of yield distribution. Alternatives to classical statistical tests were proposed for assessing the normality of distributions and conducting comparisons (namely, the Jarque–Bera and Wilcoxon tests, respectively). Finally, the focus was put on the probability risk assessment, which remains a key point within the decision process. The simulation results showed that, based on current N application practice among Belgian farmers (60-60-60 kgN ha−1), yield distribution was very highly significantly non-normal, with the highest degree of asymmetry characterised by a skewness value of −1.02. They showed that this strategy gave the greatest probability (60 %) of achieving yields that were superior to the mean (10.5 t ha−1) of the distribution.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2014
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