Productivity maps overview
Productivity maps are derived from crop production history and remote sensing, and are used to determine variability to make site specific management decisions.
Variability is analyzed through evaluation of Normalized Differential Vegetation Index in past crop seasons, given it's high correlation with yields in key dates. The result is a Productivity Map, which divides the field in classes, from very low to very high productivity polygons.
This article analyzes in more detail how Productivity Maps are generated.
Why is it important to recognize variability
Two areas in a field are different zones if the same crop, with the same treatment, present marked differences in their yields. Thus, environmental variability comprises different factors that affect the growth and yield of crops.
There are many causes for potential variability, such as soil types, position in the landscape which affects water flows, or climate. For instance, the following chart shows how different crops have varying yields according to different management zones, classified by landscape position/type of soils.
Recognizing variability and taking corresponding management decisions can help optimize the use of crop inputs, avoid undesirable environmental effects, and improve economic returns, as illustrated in the following figure:
This article analyzes in more detail productivity maps applications, benefits, and how they are used to characterize management zones and make management decisions
Video - application of Productivity Maps
In this video, Francis Yeatman, Crop Consultant in South Africa, describes how he uses Productivity Maps to identify variability and make management decisions.