Spatial distribution of kiwifruit quality and yield as affected by edaphoclimatic factors in northwest Portugal

Antunes, M.D., Panagopoulos, J. (2022)


Good knowledge of land and production factors optimize yield and quality, minimizing environmental risks. Satellite imagery and spatial distribution of production factors helps to visualize the crop variation within orchards. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) allow farmers to monitor crop conditions by air to find problems that would not become apparent quickly. Precision agriculture tools like geographic information systems (GIS) and geostatistics assist farmers in minimizing the environmental impact of agricultural practices and ensuring food quality and safety. The present work aimed to generate maps that predict kiwifruit yield and quality as affected by edaphoclimatic factors. The sampling position was georeferenced in a GIS. The ArcGIS geostatistical analyst created maps of soil properties, climate factors, available water, fruit yield and quality. Farm managers are assisted in decisions about kiwifruit orchard management and choosing a suitable location for new kiwifruit vineyard installation. The use of GIS provides the means for sustainable agricultural production. The availability of software capable of producing attractive maps provides an opportunity to visually communicate production and fruit quality conditions to a variety of audiences and aid farmers in designing sustainable management in Integrated Production Programs. The association of environmental factors, landscape features, and cropping patterns with the fruit quality or other production factors can be easily communicated to farm managers and decision-makers particularly on a regional scale. Further investigation with climate change simulations will increase the precision of yield and fruit quality maps.

Keywords: crop variation; drones; satellite imagery; precision agriculture; geostatistics

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