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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Site Specific Analysis & Management

Comparison of Site-Specific Management Zones


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 98 No. 2, p. 407-415
    Received: Aug 19, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): raj.khosla@colostate.edu
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  1. A. Hornunga,
  2. R. Khosla *a,
  3. R. Reichb,
  4. D. Inmana and
  5. D. G. Westfalla
  1. a Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1170
    b Dep. of Forestry, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1170


Numerous techniques of management zone delineation have been studied; however, few comparisons between techniques exist in the literature. The objectives of this study were: (i) to determine how consistently two management zone delineation techniques (a soil-color-based management zone [SCMZ] technique and a yield-based management zone [YBMZ] technique) characterize regions of high, medium, and low grain yield; and (ii) to compare the relative accuracies with which the two management zone delineation techniques characterize the grain yield within low, medium, and high productivity potential management zones. This study was conducted for three site years in northeastern Colorado. Management zones were delineated before planting. The SCMZ technique used: (i) bare-soil imagery, (ii) topography, and (iii) farmer's experience. The YBMZ relied on: (i) bare-soil imagery, (ii) soil organic matter, (iii) cation exchange capacity, (iv) soil texture, and (v) the previous season's yield map. Grain yields ranged from 6.9 to 15.5 Mg ha−1 across all site years. Grain yields were significantly different between SCMZ zones for all site years. Grain yield in the SCMZ high zones were up to 1.88 Mg ha−1 higher than YBMZ high zones. Areal agreements for the SCMZ technique were 37, 41, and 45% for Site Years I, II, and III. Based on the approaches used in this study to classify grain yield patterns, the SCMZ technique was found to be relatively better than the YBMZ technique.

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