Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Frederick C. Westin


The social and economic importance of accurate crop-climate forecasting and agricultural data acquisition has been noted. The advances in methodology to analyze the relationship, has also been touched upon. The particular problem considered in this paper is to determine what factors play a significant role in the output, of oat yields. The yields will be correlated with monthly precipitation and temperature figures and a yearly fertilizer application variable. If some of these variables are found to be significant-they can be used in an equation to help predict oat yields. It is hoped that this study will add to the knowledge of crop-climate relationships. The primary difference between this problem and previous studies is the crop used. While other· researchers have experimented with wheat, this study will deal with oats. Wheat is a [sic] important small grain but many of the less well known feed grains such as oats, barley and rye also are significant. Total production of bushels harvested has almost completely over-shadowed the yield aspect. The yield figures have been based on the bushels per acre from harvested fields. This is necessary to calculate the total production figure, usually the main result desired. LACIE models have used these yield figures. In addition to yields per harvested acre are data available for yields of bushels per acre planted, irrespective of whether the fields were harvested or not. This method helps take into account poor weather conditions which may have discouraged farmers from harvesting some fields. Neither planted nor harvested acreage can give an exact indication of the yield potential of an area, but both are useful and will be considered in this paper. A final point is that model studies are area-oriented. Different geographic areas with different climates, soil types, yields and farming practices may cause variables to change in significance from one area to another. In a Canadian study, Saskatchewan wheat yield variability was found to be attributed more to weather-related causes than yield of wheat in Manitoba. Using identical variables in different areas brought about different results. Similar research done in different areas helps form a network of studies to find where certain prediction models will work.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Oats -- South Dakota
Crop yields -- South Dakota
Crops and climate -- South Dakota
Agricultural estimating and reporting -- South Dakota




South Dakota State University

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Geography Commons