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Week One: Yield Editor

My first week was a bit of a rush! I started out using Yield Editor (a free software published by USDA-ARS) to clean corn data from a farm that works with NMSP on a couple of projects. Cleaning harvest data is important because it allows farmers to know exactly how much they are able to produce in certain fields. It is also important to have very accurate data for making decisions about which fertilizers to use and how much of each nutrient to apply in different sections of the farm.

Example of flow delay correction in Yield Editor

Left: Raw corn harvest data. Right: Data cleaned following the Kharel et al. protocol


Data technicians at NMSP follow the yield cleaning protocol written by Dr. Tulsi Kharel, one of my supervisors at the lab. The manual is very helpful because it’s easy to forget steps in the yield data cleaning process if you are just working from memory. Following the protocol also ensures that data sets cleaned by different technicians will still be consistent and highly accurate. Tulsi is leaving for a position with the USDA in Arkansas soon which will be sad but he has already taught me a lot about working with agronomic data. Dilip, the lead data analyst in the lab, has also been very generous with his time and has started to teach me how to use the programming language R. This will hopefully allow me to start creating farm reports based off of the cleaned yield data, which would be a new and exciting skill!

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