ISPA Account

Data-Driven Understanding of on Farm Yield Variation

Agriculture research uses “recommendation domains” to develop and transfer crop management practices adapted to specific contexts. The scale of recommendation domains is large when compared to individual production sites and often encompasses less environmental variation than farmers manage. Farmers constantly observe crop response to management practices at a field scale. These observations are of little use for other farms if the site and the weather are not described. The value of information obtained from farmers’ experiences and controlled experiments is enhanced when the circumstances under which it was generated are characterized within the conceptual framework of a recommendation domain, this latter defined by Non-Controllable Factors (NCFs). Controllable Factors (CFs) refer to those which farmers manage. Using a combination of expert guidance and a multi-stage analytic process, we evaluated the interplay of CFs and NCFs on plantain productivity in farmers’ fields. Jiménez D, Dorado H, Cock J, Prager SD, Delerce S, Grillon A, et al. (2016) From Observation to Information: Data-Driven Understanding of on Farm Yield Variation. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150015.