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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 99 No. 5, p. 1366-1376
    Received: Feb 22, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): james.taylor@usyd.edu.au
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Establishing Management Classes for Broadacre Agricultural Production

  1. J. A. Taylor *,
  2. A. B. McBratney and
  3. B. M. Whelan
  1. Australian Centre for Precision Agriculture, McMillan Building, A05, The Univ. of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia


The delineation and management of homogenous classes within a field is an important step in the evolution from uniform field management to site-specific management. The adoption of class or zone management on-farm has been slow due to an extension gap between researchers and producers. To overcome this, a protocol has been developed using freeware and shareware programs freely available over the Internet. This protocol promotes a cost-effective approach to class management at a grower and consultant level. Users begin with raw data and in a stepwise process clean, interpolate, and then cluster the data to develop management classes. The protocol has been developed for non-irrigated broadacre (>20 ha) Australian grain production systems but is readily transferable to other production systems with suitable local agronomic knowledge. A case study highlighting the protocol as well as possible problems and pitfalls is presented to assist potential users. Some limitations and further areas of protocol development to refine the technique are briefly discussed.

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Copyright © 2007. American Society of AgronomyAmerican Society of Agronomy