Statistical decisions in optimising grain yield

Norng, Sorn (2004) Statistical decisions in optimising grain yield. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis concerns Precision Agriculture (PA) technology which involves methods developed to optimise grain yield by examining data quality and modelling protein/yield relationship of wheat and sorghum fields in central and southern Queensland.

An important part of developing strategies to optimisise grain yield is the understanding of PA technology. This covers major aspects of PA which includes all the components of Site-

Specific Crop Management System (SSCM). These components are 1. Spatial referencing, 2. Crop, soil and climate monitoring, 3. Attribute mapping, 4. Decision suppport systems and 5. Differential action. Understanding how all five components fit into PA significantly aids the development of data analysis methods.

The development of PA is dependent on the collection, analysis and interpretation of information. A preliminary data analysis step is described which covers both non-spatial and spatial data analysis methods. The non-spatial analysis involves plotting methods (maps, histograms), standard distribution and statistical summary (mean, standard deviation). The spatial analysis covers both undirected and directional variogram analyses.

In addition to the data analysis, a theoretical investigation into GPS error is given. GPS plays a major role in the development of PA. A number of sources of errors affect the GPS and therefore effect the positioning measurements. Therefore, an understanding of the distribution of the errors and how they are related to each other over time is needed to complement the understanding of the nature of the data. Understanding the error distribution and the data give useful insights for model assumptions in regard to position measurement errors.

A review of filtering methods is given and new methods are developed, namely, strip analysis and a double harvesting algoritm. These methods are designed specifically for controlled traffic and normal traffic respectively but can be applied to all kinds of yield monitoring data.

The data resulting from the strip analysis and double harvesting algorithm are used in investigating the relationship between on-the-go yield and protein. The strategy is to use protein and yield in determining decisions with respect to nitrogen managements. The agronomic assumption is that protein and yield have a significant relationship based on plot trials. We investigate whether there is any significant relationship between protein and yield at the local level to warrent this kind of assumption.

Understanding PA technology and being aware of the sources of errors that exist in data collection and data analysis are all very important in the steps of developing management decision strategies.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 15806
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Pettitt, Anthony
Keywords: precision agriculture, combine harvesters, yield maps, grain protein, protein/yield relationship, local neighbourhoods, weighted regression, controlled trafiic, haphazard harveasting, GPS errors, filtering methods, exploratory data analysis, data cleaning
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Sorn Norng
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:49
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:39

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