Technical note Open Access
Problem: Many agronomic experiments, such as those carried out in the SolACE Project, are designed to vary a single factor, with all other conditions being equal. This can be limiting in what can be measured in one experiment, at one time. Opposingly, an agroecological approach is based on using and measuring several factors in the same field, adapted to various pedoclimatic conditions and objectives. This is also a limitation, as pedoclimates can often vary across short distances on-farm, at different times during the year.
Solution: The “Diagchamp method” is a diagnostic, holistic approach to identify and hierarchize the limiting factors of final crop yield directly in the farmer’s fields by comparing crop growth to a climatic potential. The user of this method can compare results from agronomic experiments against agronomic diagnoses. Retrieving an agronomic diagnosis is done by choosing a sample field (Figure 1) and assessing multiple agronomic factors (Figure 2). This creates a baseline that suggests what the potential output of the field could be, based on the field data taken previously, which can then be compared with the actual production yields.