Reviewing Year 1 data, we identified that areas within paddocks had yields limited by different probable causes. This suggested the idea of Management Action Zones (MAZs).
Some areas showed that yield was limited by plant number: establishment was poor. Others had the expected population, but low biomass: the plants were small due to some other limiting factor.
If we can identify zones easily, and determine the causes, we should be able to target a management response accordingly. So for this season, we set out a revised research aim.
What we want to know:
Can we successfully determine a management action zone in a field?
Why do we need to know this?
Develop a tool to increase uniformity and yield outcomes
Develop a tool to evaluate management practices and crop productivity
If we want to successfully determine a management action zone in a field then there are two main steps to achieve in this year’s work:
Confirm the relationship between digital data and crop model parameters
Does the relationship stay constant over time and sites?
How early in growth can a difference be detected?
Can the relationship be used to show a growth map across a field?
Develop an approach to gather information and ways to input and display results, initially using a website approach.
Can we integrate a plant count and yield information to start developing a management action zone?
How should this be put together in a way growers can start to use to gather information about their crops?
During 2016-17 we followed crops at the LandWISE MicroFarm at the Centre for Land and Water and at three other paddocks in Hawke’s Bay. We also had paddocks in Auckland where images are being captured for assessment and testing our hypotheses.