Parent, S.-É.; Lafond, J.; Paré, M.C.; Parent, L.E.; Ziadi, N. Conditioning Machine Learning Models to Adjust Lowbush Blueberry Crop Management to the Local Agroecosystem. Plants2020, 9, 1401.
Parent, S.-É.; Lafond, J.; Paré, M.C.; Parent, L.E.; Ziadi, N. Conditioning Machine Learning Models to Adjust Lowbush Blueberry Crop Management to the Local Agroecosystem. Plants 2020, 9, 1401.
Nutrient management of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) depends on several yield-limiting features. Machine learning models can process such yield-impacting variables to predict berry yield. We investigated the effects of local variables on yields and nutrient management of lowbush blueberry. We collected 1504 observations from N-P-K fertilizer trials conducted in Quebec, Canada. Meteorological indices at various phenological stages showed the greatest impact on yield. High mean temperature at flower bud opening and after fruit maturation, and total precipitation at flowering showed positive effects. Low mean temperature and low total precipitation before bud opening, at flowering, and by fruit maturity, as well as number of freezing days (< -5ºC) before flower bud opening, showed negative effects. Soil fertility variables, leaf nutrient compositions and N-P-K fertilization showed smaller effects. Gaussian processes predicted berry yields from historical weather data, soil analysis, fertilizer dosage, and leaf nutrients with a root-mean-square-error of 1447 kg ha-1 on the testing data set. An in-house Markov chain algorithm optimized yields modelled with Gaussian processes from leaf nutrient composition, soil test value, and fertilizer dosage conditioned to specified historical weather features. We propose to use conditioned machine learning models to manage nutrients of lowbush blueberry at local scale.
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