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Yield mapping has been around since the 1990’s when GPS data was first coupled with different sensors on the harvester to be able to measure and map parameters such as crop yield, moisture, speed, elevation and much more.
The data collected produces what is known as a yield map, which can these be used to compare yield distribution within the field from year to year. This allows farmers to determine areas of the field that might be under-performing or over-performing and further investigate what is driving these differences so better management decisions can be made the following year. It also allows farmers to show the effects of a change in field-management techniques, to develop nutrient strategies for their fields, and as a record of crop yield to be able to produce profit maps to further drive decision making and future budgeting.
The basic components of a yield mapping system include:
At Agri Optics we process the data collected, utilizing the farmer’s knowledge to remove all known anomalies in the captured yield data, and then calibrate this data to actual yield quantities. We process the data using the latest in Precision Agriculture software and upload it to a server for you, the customer, to download onto a desktop software package or view online using PCT AgCloud (link) at any time you choose. This software allows the farmer to view all yield maps for the farm, normalise them between crops and season, create enterprise maps showing areas of profit and loss and create variable rate application maps. Other crop sensor, soil nutrient variability and satellite imagery can also be integrated.
Additionally, for those that want to do it all, we also have a Trimble’s Farm Works Mapping software package that is a farm recording and mapping program in one to keep track of your inputs as well as import all your harvest data.
It is widely accepted that yield mapping is the most integral place to start in any precision farming operation, as all precision farming practices come down to deciding on the most economic input for a given area, thus yield needs to be known so the result is measurable.
Yield maps can be used for a variety of reasons, however all uses require QUALITY yield data. Some of the uses of yield data are as follows:
2. Create gross and net profit maps – for learning how to fine tune inputs to maximise profitability in all areas of the field. Identify yield limiting factors and assess how much loss these are causing – allowing justification for eliminating or reducing the effect of these factor
3. Calculate nutrient removal by the crop and thus the amount that needs to be replaced in these areas – particularly for base fertiliser
4. Comparisons and on farm trials of different inputs, rates or management systems to see if their effects carry through to a yield effect. Costs vs. additional income can also be mapped from different trials across a field.
Other costs can also be compared and mapped depending on your systems setup, such as fuel performance, work rates
Yield maps are one of the MOST VALUEABLE sources of spatial data for precision agriculture!
A long yield history is essential to avoid drawing conclusions that are affected by the weather or other unpredictable factors during a particular year.
It is essential to remove the data points that do not accurately represent the yield at a corresponding location.
Processed yield maps can be used to investigate factors affecting the yield or to prescribe variable rate applications of agricultural inputs according zones of differing yield potential.
All the above helps to drive your business forward providing answers (from good spatial data) to different approaches you trial, but be warned it can and will also raise new questions!
All of which makes your business more efficient in the long term.
For a free quote on processing your yield data click here:
For more information on yield mapping and what it can do for you please contact one of the Agri Optics team.
Phone: 0800 482 682
Level 1 167 Main Street,
Canterbury, New Zealand