Spatial autocorrelation and its role in management zone delineation: essays about the economics of cotton precision agriculture



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Texas Tech University


The objective of this study is to develop a management zone delineation procedure based on a spatial statistics approach and evaluates its economic impact for the case of Texas cotton production. With the use of an optimization model that utilizes a yield response function estimated through spatial econometric methods, we found that applying variable N rates based on the management zones delineated would result in higher net returns, relative to a uniform rate application based on field information. This is indicative of the potential economic value of using a spatial statistics approach to management zone delineation.