The delineation of nitrogen management units for corn (Zea mays L.) using aerial images of bare soil

Gregory, Sharon D.L.
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the potential to use aerial imagery to identify nitrogen (N) management units for variable-rate fertilizer N application (VRNA). Successful VRNA requires that N management units be properly identified such that the variability in yield response to applied N, and therefore fertilizer N requirement, is adequately characterized. Relationships between the imagery and measures of potential soil N availability and crop N requirement were evaluated to determine whether variation in yield response to applied N may be identified. An assessment of a direct relationship between the imagery and fertilizer N requirement was completed, and the use of image classification to identify N management units was explored. The results found suggest that the imagery may not be used to properly characterize the variability in fertilizer N requirement. However, they also suggest that there remains the potential to identify where yield response to applied N varies using aerial imagery.

aerial imagery, image classification, nitrogen management unit, variable-rate fertilizer N application, VRNA, fertilizer, soil N availability, crop N requirement, yield response, corn, Zea mays L.