Relationships of barley biomass and grain yields to soil properties within a field in the arid region: Use of factor analysis uri icon

abstract

  • Understanding the variability of soil properties and their effects on crop yield is a critical component of site-specific management systems. The objective of this study was to employ factor and multiple regression analyses to determine major soil physical and chemical properties that influence barely biomass and grain yield within a field in the arid region of northern Iran. For this purpose, soil samples and crop-yield data were collected from 108 sites, at regular intervals (20 30 m) in a 5.6 ha field. Soil samples were analysed for total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (Pava), available potassium (Kava), cation-exchange capacity(CEC), electrical conductivity (EC), pH, mean weight diameter of aggregates (MWD), water-stable aggregates (WSA), field capacity volumetric (FC), available water-holding capacity (AWHC), bulk density (BD), and calcium carbonate equivalent (CCE). Results of the factor analysis, followed by regression of biomass and grain yield of barley with soil properties, showed that the regression equations developed accounted for 78 and 73% of the total variance in biomass and grain yield, respectively. Study of covariance analysis among soil variables using factor analysis indicated that some of the variation measured could be grouped to indicate a number of underlying common factors influencing barley biomass and grain yields. These common factors were salinity and sodicity, soil fertility, and water availability. The most effective soil variables to barley production in the study area identified as EC, SAR, pH, TN, Pava, AWHC, and FC. In this study, factor analysis was effective to identify the groups of correlated soil variables that were significantly correlated with the within field variability in the yield of the barley crop. Our results also suggest that the approach can be applied to other crops under similar soil and agroclimatic conditions

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009