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European Journal of Scientific Research ISSN 1450-216X Vol.42 No.2 (2010), pp.314-325 © EuroJournals Publishing, Inc.


Predicting the Yield of Crops Using Gis/Gps Integration - A Case Study at Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited
Bernard Kumi-Boateng University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana Issaka Yakubu University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana Abstract Crop growth and yield are dependent on a number of factors such as soil type, weather conditions and cultivation practices. However, these factors vary significantly over a given area with time. The net effect of the variability of the factors is fluctuations in agricultural output. This paper discusses the prediction of crop yield using GIS/GPS integration. The area of study is the Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) Limited in the Western Region of Ghana. Data on yield and selected variables, namely; soil organic matter content, soil potassium content and amount of fertilizer applied, for fifty-five blocks was collected to predict the yield of oil palm. Global Positioning and Geographical Information Systems were used in the mapping of the study area to depict the variability of yield and the spatial factors. Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) Interpolation method was used in the production of distribution maps for yield and the spatial factors. The results show that crop yield relates positively with the spatial factors selected. Keywords: GPS, GIS and IDW

1. Introduction
Palm oil is an excellent natural ingredient with characteristics and properties that are particularly suitable for the manufacturing of products such as margarine, cooking oil and soaps. It has unique functional properties other oils do not have (Anon., 2009a). Yields of palm oil are higher than for any other edible oil producing crop. Furthermore, world production of palm oil is far in excess of any other vegetable oil, and it contributes more fatty acids and energy to the diet of the growing world population than any other edible oil crop (Anon., 2009a). Palm oil plantation management and many research programmes initiated and carried out in the palm oil industry have demonstrated that a well-managed oil plantation can be highly sustainable (Anon., 2009a). The oil palm industry in the Ghana has improved greatly over the past four years as the Benso Oil Palm Plantation and the Twifo Oil Palm Plantations produced about 40,000 metric tonnes of palm oil annually (Anon., 2009b). It is estimated that there is an external market for 2.6 million tonnes of crude oil palm and oil palm-based products a year. The country, however, produces only 800,000 tonnes annually (Anon., 2009c). BOPP is a company engaged in the production and processing of crude palm oil. The company was established in 1976 and owns a nucleus estate covering about 4507 ha with a small holder estate of about 1650 ha. Each small holder has four hectares of land with about 600 trees each. Management of

For these reasons. management and interpretations over others. it was decided to adopt GIS/GPS technology due to their advantages in spatial data collection. 2.Predicting the Yield of Crops Using Gis/Gps Integration . Available annual statistics from 2000 to 2007 indicate that the BOPP has been experiencing production fluctuations in the blocks (Anon. A GIS application manipulates data about these points. Much of the area is quite remote and inaccessible (Dogbevia.. The town is about 32 km NNW of Takoradi and 193 km WNW of Accra. 2007). Benso is approximately on latitude 5◦ 09' N and longitude 1◦ 53' W. 2008a). manipulated. The GIS programme which is an information system where the database consists of observations on spatially distributed features. 2009d) . These fluctuations may be attributed to variations in the factors. Many techniques exist for crop yield prediction. Figure 1: Map of Western Region showing the location of Mpohor-wassa East District (Anon.A Case Study at Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited 315 BOPP considered the following factors in their operations so as to improve yield. Map of Western Region showing the location of Mpohor-wassa East District. which are definable in space as points. 1. With GIS spatial data collected are handled. Thus it is faster. more accurate and data can be collected irrespective of the weather. 2001). Therefore several factors were considered to achieve optimal results by the use of GIS/GPS. lines and areas to retrieve data for ad hoc queries and analysis (Clarke. soil type. GPS allows for spatial distribution data of the crops to be collected in real time. activities or events. the accuracy required and the scale of work involved. analysed and interpreted with more flexibility. lines or areas. weather conditions and cultivation practices (amount of irrigation and fertilizer applied). These technologies would help to predict the yield of the oil palm at the BOPP for any given period. allows for a link between the spatial locations and their attributes. Location and Accessibility BOPP Limited is located in the Mpohor-Wassa East District of the Western Region of Ghana. The selection of most appropriate technique or a combination of techniques for any particular application will depend upon cost. Figure..

The crop yield map produced was overlaid with other maps (factor maps) to determine the general relationships across the farm. Some belts-type intrusions are present in the northern area but they are not extensive and some minor older mafic sills and dykes are present. The average annual crop yield for each block was obtained from the Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited. Although the general metamorphic facies in most of the main sequence of metavolcanics may be green schist (possibly retrograde). 1998). Crop Yield Sample Collection The extent of the fieldwork covered 55 contiguous blocks each having a side in common with at least one other block. 2007). The coordinates and the average annual crop yield for each block were later collated and a database created. 3. The very large Dixcove granitoid complex extends well into the area and the similarly large Apowa complex lies to the East of Manso (Griffis et al. An interpreted airborne magnetic geophysical survey indicated that the area hosts substantial sequences of volcanic and interbedded marine clastics typical of the margins of the Ashanti belts (Griffis. 3. the eastern margins of the belts is higher grade amphibolites. Distribution maps of annual crop yield were generated using ArcView 3. . for the purpose of this research. 3.1. Local Geology Bernard Kumi-Boateng and Issaka Yakubu Benso is dominated by a fairly wide (approximately 10 km) band of mixed Birimian metavolcanics.316 2. Materials and Methods The materials and methods employed in this research are discussed in the following sections.3. The three-dimensional coordinates of each block were acquired approximately at the centre of each block using GPS. Fig. Materials Primary data was collected by field visit using GPS receivers and secondary data representing average annual yield for some selected blocks were obtained from BOPP. The main Bonsa River valley has elevations that range between from 60 and 75 m above sea level and most of the hills in the nearby areas have elevations in the range of 120 to 150 m above sea level.1. Data structures. 1 is the Sample location. Two thick series of largely mafic volcanic and volcaniclastics separated by argillites and volcaniclastics can be observed within the area AmantinSubriso-Chichiwere area. Relief and Rainfall The relief of area is fairly moderate. 2002). descriptive and summary statistics for the various blocks selected were produced with Microsoft Excel. Along the eastern margins of the area. 3. interbedded volcaniclastics and marine metasedimentary rocks that represents a continuation of the Butre metavolcanics observed further to the south. 2. were 100 m × 100 m.. The database was loaded into the GIS environment as a point event theme and was used in the creation of the crop yield map. The prominent North trending Mesozoic dolerite dykes are also present. another similar band (1 to 2 km wide) can be traced northwards from Manso.2.2. The area has high rainfall ranging from 1500 to 2000 mm/yr and large areas with primary tropical forest are being logged on a sustainable basis (Dogbevia. Methods The methods adopted for this research are elaborated below.2. The dimensions of each block.1.

the yields for Block D6 in the year 2000 and 2007 were 13 tonnes and 17 tonnes respectively while those of Block F9 in 2000 and 2007 were 10 tonnes and 12 tonnes respectively.2. Table 1: Block ID D6/t D7/t E6/t E7/t F8/t F9/t Average Annual Yield (in tonnes) for Some Selected Blocks at Edumasi Division (Anon.2. However.. From Table 1. 2008) YEAR 2000 13 15 11 17 14 10 2001 14 14 12 19 16 13 2002 16 15 11 18 15 13 2003 19 18 15 22 17 14 2004 17 16 10 19 13 12 2005 15 18 12 22 16 13 2006 16 17 11 20 14 16 2007 17 15 12 18 13 12 3. Variable Selection Crop yield depends on a number of variables such as soil type.Predicting the Yield of Crops Using Gis/Gps Integration . these factors vary significantly over a given area with time. For instance.A Case Study at Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited Figure 2: Sample Locations 317 Table 1 summarises the average annual yield in tonnes (t) for some selected blocks at Edumasi Division. weather conditions and cultivation practices (amount of irrigation and fertilizer applied). soil properties are highly variable over space as often evident when .

2. The categorisation was done to investigate and establish the correlation between the variable factors and the annual yield using graphs. thereby helping management in making informed decisions to overcome any . It was necessary to determine the maximum. The analysis revealed a strong relationship between them. these factors can be combined to increase crop yield. Theoretically. shape of. even when the same treatment is given to all parts of the field. Creation of spatial and non-spatial data The field data was divided into spatial and non-spatial data for analysis. average annual crop yield.2. Therefore. produced for the spatial factors and crop yield were used in obtaining the prediction map for crop yield.5. points close to central points of the blocks are used. Spatial data consists of information about the relationships of entities in space. Non-spatial data are measurable or classifiable attributes without inherently spatial qualities. the geographical coordinates and elevation of each block were collated as field data. minimum. This was done by using the arithmetic and the logical operators of the map calculation function. the location.2. all samples can be used in the estimation but practically. facts about the real world organised geographically.3. The nearest neighbourhood approach was adopted. Based on the objectives of farmers for the subsequent year. The weighting factor is the inverse of the distance between each sample and the block centre raised to the power n (Al-Hassan. as these points have a greater influence on the central point. This technique applies a weighting factor that is based on an exponential distance function to each sample with a prescribed parameter about the central point of block. For this purpose Microsoft Excel was used. and the value of other locations interpolated from the centres of neighbouring blocks. The map produced was converted to a grid feature and characterised into four classes. Therefore the spatial factors and annual yield were classified as such. the various distribution maps for the spatial factors were combined using the map calculation function.318 Bernard Kumi-Boateng and Issaka Yakubu certain patches of a field under cultivation with the same crop. The estimated values obtained were used in the calculation of the distribution map for crop yield. data on these factors as they are applied to each block was collected. moderate and low. This process was used in the production of the distribution maps for the spatial factors. the variable factors and the average annual yields were grouped as such. 3. 3. 3. standard deviation of the spatial factors and the crop yield to understand their distribution across the farm. 3. It was assumed that. namely. The method also assumes that the unknown value of a point is influenced more by nearby points than those farther away. 2001). high. The purpose of this map is to provide a decision support tool to define areas where remedial action is needed in situations where there are low yields. median.2.6.4. The various distribution maps. Thus. yields higher than other parts. Spatial Distribution Maps of Crop Yield Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) was used to interpolate the distribution. Predicted Map For the purpose of forecasting the yield for the subsequent year. very high. mean. The data on spatial factors. The number of nearest neighbour used was four. The study area was divided into grids with blocks measuring 100 m × 100 m. 2008). Hence. which are usually stored as coordinates and topology (Clarke. the value of each block is the value for a point at the centre of the block. and relationships among geographic features. Statistical Analysis Scatter plots were used to determine the correlation between the spatial factors and average annual crop yields. Management of BOPP considers the amount of fertilizer applied to the various blocks and soil properties when assessing yield increment. IDW was considered to be the appropriate interpolating method for determining the distribution of the yield and the spatial factors within the study area.

The mean of Soil Potassium Content is 448 ppm obtained from values ranging from 165 ppm to 665 ppm. 3.34 ppm respectively. Summation of the values was done because the predicted yield will be achieved when all the spatial factors are present at their required levels. Figures 3 and 4 show a strong positive relationship between crop yield and the soil chemistry (Figs.0 5.33 respectively.44 Organic Matter Content 1.0 20. .34 4. The dataset for the spatial factors were also evaluated.00 and 5.42 t. The mean and median values from the statistics are 19.65 1.33 Soil Potassium Content (ppm) 165 448 665 510 152. Results The results were obtained after statistical analysis of the data. Each scatter plot shows the correlation coefficient between the spatial factor and crop yield. The median. The median and standard deviation of this data Set are 510 ppm and 152.0 t and 29.8 respectively. The median and standard deviation are 450 kg and 101. to achieve the predicted yield for a subsequent year. Descriptive Statistics Table 2 summarises the statistics of the field data acquired.A Case Study at Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited 319 mishaps and improve and expand their market web.00 3. 2).65. The following are the various techniques adopted.2 29. A total of fifty-five samples were taken for each data Set. 4.44 kg respectively. The relationship existing between the spatial factors and crop yield is illustrated in the following scatter plots. Table 2: Summary Minimum Mean Maximum Median Standard Deviation Summary Statistics (n = 55) Yield (t) 9. • Amount of soil potassium present.42 Amount of Fertilizer Applied (kg) 200 430 600 450 101. The equation used for the map calculation is given by: (1) From equation (1).80 3. 4 and 5).0 t. mean and standard deviation of the organic matter content are 3.Predicting the Yield of Crops Using Gis/Gps Integration . Results and Discussions 4.1.0 t respectively. The mean which is an indication of the average of the values obtained is 430 kg.1. The relationship between yield and amount of fertilizer applied showed a strong positive correlation of 61% (Fig. with the extremes inclusive.1.1.0 19. Predicted Yield = 2 × Organic matter content + 0.54 and 1. the organic matter content of the soil must be doubled while the amount of fertilizer to be applied should be halved and the soil potassium content should not be altered. The values obtained for the yield lies between 9. The standard deviation which is indicative of the closeness of values to the mean is 5. The Organic Matter Content in the soil has a minimum and a maximum value of 1. Spatial Factors affecting Crop Yield The following factors affect crop yield: • Organic matter content present in the soil.5 × Fertilizer applied + Soil Potassium Content 4. • Amount of fertilizer applied to the farm.2.54 5. The amount of fertilizer applied to each block ranged from 200 kg to 600 kg.2 t and 20.

Amount of Fertilizer Applied Figure 4: Scatter Plot of Yield vrs. Organic Matter .320 Bernard Kumi-Boateng and Issaka Yakubu Figure 3: Scatter Plot of Yield vrs.

The resultant distribution maps are shown in Figs. Spatial Distribution Maps Four nearest points were used as the nearest neighbour points.1. Figure 6: Spatial distribution map of crop yield . Green monochromatic graduated colour was used in the classification.3.A Case Study at Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited Figure 5: Scatter Plot of Yield vrs. The yield and spatial factor distribution maps were classified into four namely: low.Predicting the Yield of Crops Using Gis/Gps Integration . high and very high. moderate. 6 to 8. Soil Potassium Content 321 4. moderate and low values as the shading increases. The very high values were set to the highest shade of the colour with the high.

322 Bernard Kumi-Boateng and Issaka Yakubu Figure. 7: Fertilizer application distribution map Figure 8: Organic Matter distribution map .

Yield Prediction for the Subsequent Year Figure 10 shows the predicted yield map for the subsequent year after the combination of the factors was varied. Figure 10: Predicted map crop yield .1.A Case Study at Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited Figure 9: Soil Potassium distribution map 323 4.4.Predicting the Yield of Crops Using Gis/Gps Integration .

Nonetheless. the crop yield levels reduce with an increasing distance away from the zone of high yield. 43 and 48 were high. Conclusions From the analysis in the preceding sections. Blocks 38. Conversely.05 and 216. Discussions Bernard Kumi-Boateng and Issaka Yakubu 4. 4. The average values recorded for organic matter content and fertilizer applied in these blocks were 1. the soil potassium content correlates positively with yield. 5-8. organic matter content and soil potassium content as observed in Figs.6 kg. • The variability of crop yield over the study area was clearly revealed in the results of the research. This part of the study area has the highest fertilizer application. improving the accuracy of applying chemicals is a requirement in maximising productivity. 9 t and 10 t respectively. Thus. These results show that there is a strong relationship between crop yield and both organic matter content in the soil and amount of fertilizer applied to the block.2.2. .1. • GIS/GPS integration can be used in planning to eliminate yield-limiting factors or to prevent accumulation of agricultural chemical waste by avoiding unnecessary applications of fertilizers. This may be probably because both blocks are located in the north-eastern part of the study area.2. the results show that: • There is a strong positive correlation between the yield and the spatial factors. there were high values of potassium content recorded in all blocks showing that perhaps some other factors contributed to the low crop yield. Spatial Factors affecting Crop Yield A careful assessment of the yield samples data indicates that Blocks 15 and 20 have the highest (Table 1) yields. 5. However. Spatial Distribution Map of Crop Yield The IDW maps (Figure) revealed that high levels of crop yields are located in the north-eastern part of the study area and a small portion of the south-western part.324 4. This variability was probably influenced by the sampling positions and thus indicates the need to apply variable management corrections to the farming strategy. a very high yield corresponds to very high values of the factors. presupposing that these blocks should experience high yields but rather recorded yields of 10 t. Therefore. shows higher levels of these factors in the north-eastern part of the study area. Generally.2. The predicted map was obtained from varying the state of the determining factors. 43 and 48 experienced low yields with corresponding low levels in fertilizer application and organic matter content in these blocks. Increasing agricultural profit by increasing crop yield and minimising cost is the prime objective of every farmer. This implies that the variables selected affect crop yield. The levels of potassium content in Blocks 38.

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