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Article

Analysis of Spatiotemporal Variability of Corn Yields Using Empirical Orthogonal Functions

1
Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
2
Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
3
Centro Las Torres-Tomejil, IFAPA, 41200 Sevilla, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3339; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123339
Received: 26 October 2020 / Revised: 21 November 2020 / Accepted: 25 November 2020 / Published: 28 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil–Plant–Water Dynamics on a Field Scale)
We used empirical orthogonal functions (EOF) to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of corn (Zea mays L.) yields at three hydrologically-bounded fields with shallow subsurface preferential lateral flow pathways. One field received uniform application of manure, the second field received the uniform applications of the chemical nitrogen fertilizer, and the third field received variable rate applications of the chemical fertilizer. The preferential subsurface flow and storage pathway locations were inferred from the ground penetration radar survey. Six-year monitoring data were analyzed. Statistical distributions of EOFs across fields were approximately symmetrical. Semivariograms of the first EOF differed between fields receiving manure and chemical fertilizer. This EOF accounted for 52 to 56% of the interannual variability of yields, and its values reflected the distance to the subsurface flow and storage pathways. The second and third EOF explained 17 to 20% and 10 to 13% of the interannual variability of yields, respectively. The precision applications of the nitrogen fertilizer minimized corn yield variability associated with subsurface preferential flow patterns. Investigating spatial patterns of yield variability under shallow groundwater flow control can be beneficial for the within-field crop management resource allocation. View Full-Text
Keywords: multiyear yield monitoring; OPE3 experimental site; nutrient management; subsurface flow pathways multiyear yield monitoring; OPE3 experimental site; nutrient management; subsurface flow pathways
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, S.; Daughtry, C.; Russ, A.; Pedrera-Parrilla, A.; Pachepsky, Y. Analysis of Spatiotemporal Variability of Corn Yields Using Empirical Orthogonal Functions. Water 2020, 12, 3339. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123339

AMA Style

Kim S, Daughtry C, Russ A, Pedrera-Parrilla A, Pachepsky Y. Analysis of Spatiotemporal Variability of Corn Yields Using Empirical Orthogonal Functions. Water. 2020; 12(12):3339. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123339

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kim, Seongyun; Daughtry, Craig; Russ, Andrew; Pedrera-Parrilla, Aura; Pachepsky, Yakov. 2020. "Analysis of Spatiotemporal Variability of Corn Yields Using Empirical Orthogonal Functions" Water 12, no. 12: 3339. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123339

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