Use of NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and Precision Agriculture methodologies to evaluate field variability in important soil properties
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Corn (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important feed food and fuel crops today, worldwide. They have been extensive work on variety improvement through conventional plant breeding as well as using genetic engineering techniques in order to eliminate problems caused by diseases or to increase their resistance in certain conditions and inputs. Local conditions (soil-climate-cultural) affect the final corn productivity, so variety trial are set to evaluate the potential at each locality weather conditions worldwide. In the first part of this study I will evaluate eleven-test hybrids corn as to the components of the production capacity or the potential productivity per plant, the stable behavior and also the response to the inputs of the plants that include at this experiment. This experiment took place at Kokkinogeia Dramas a village in North Greece, in order to collect the measurements of the different hybrids. Furthermore, I have to visit this field on time so that the weather condition allowed me to take the right measurements and before (weather conditions, fertilizers input, irrigation) and the end (measurements, NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) measures, soil samples). As a result the company collects the right samples of each different hybrid with one specific sampling method for silage and after that for cereals. Firstly, they record the heights of the plant and the heights of the ear, then they record all the weights of the plant separately the stem the grain and the leaves and also thy record the percentage insemination and the rows of the grains. The experimental process that they used in order to complete the grain research requires different methods equipment and techniques of those that they used for silage research. In my field they collect samples of each different hybrid under a responsible and technical method. When they finished the sample collection of a hybrid they measured and recorded everything about the grains (samples from five replications across each line) per hybrid along the field this measurement includes the weight, the specific weight, the weight of the stalk and the weight of the seeds separately and the grain moisture. As a result after studying and researching the results of these measurements I have a clear idea of hybrids in terms of production. 8 After that I will use the NDVI sensor (GreenSeeker®) in order to test the variability in the field and this will be the most important part because of the different zones in the field. Last of all I will check 70 different soil samples from the field in order to have more specific information about the organic matter and microorganisms. Using this way I will be able to evaluate the production of each hybrid correctly. Include the most important conclusions in here. This study is the first one to use Precision Agriculture methodologies to support (or reject) statistical analysis validity, and one very important conclusion and recommendation is that all variety trial should be established and designed according to the field’s variability, which must be examined and established BEFORE the field planting and planning. This study provided an excellent, practical and useful tool to enhance the results of field experimentation. Establishing soil properties field variability can be equally good practice to farmers, who then can manage their field more efficiently. As a recommendation to the company, it is concluded that there was not significant variability in main soil properties affecting crop growth and yield, to justify spatial geostatistical analysis to be applied for means comparison. Therefore the typical statistical analysis used to compare mean hybrid yield can be justified as appropriate.
BSc (Hons) Environmental systems management
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