Evaluating the temporal (year-to-year) variation of yield distribution within the field is an essential step in defining field areas with potentially high and low yields. Several approaches can be used to evaluate temporal effects on yield. One approach is to calculate the relative (normalized) yield for each point or grid cell. Normalized yield can be defined as the ratio of the actual yield to the field average:
When growing conditions in a field vary considerably, such as irrigated and dry-land areas or different crops or varieties grown in different areas, normalization should be done separately for those areas, with the resulting relative yields recombined into one data file for the whole field.