Factors underlying grain yield spatial variability in three irrigated wheat fields

R. E. Plant, A. Mermer, G. S. Petty Grove, M. P. Vayssieres, J. A. Young, R. O. Miller, L. F. Jackson, R. F. Denison, K. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Three irrigated wheat fields in western Yolo County, California, were studied to determine the magnitude and causes of spatial variability in grain yield. Point samples of soil properties were taken on a regular 61 m grid in each field. False color infrared aerial photographs were taken of each field under bare soil conditions and twice during the cropping season. Yield monitor data were collected at harvest. Two of the three fields showed substantial spatial variability in grain yield. Correlation analysis and CART (classification and regression trees) were used to identify factors underlying grain yield spatial variability. Primary causes of variability were soil texture, weed level, and soil phosphate level. Results of the CART analysis were used to subdivide the two fields with high spatial variability into management zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1187-1202
Number of pages16
JournalTransactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Grain yield
  • Irrigation
  • Precision agriculture
  • Regression trees
  • Wheat


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