Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Crop Models Help Increase Yield Per Unit of Water Used

06.05.2009
In regions with limited water resources, maximizing crop water productivity is important for producing high yields. A new computer model, AquaCrop, was developed as a way to predict crop water use efficiency, as traditional methods tend to overestimate or underestimate this measure under conditions of water stress.

Crop water use efficiency (WUE, or yield per unit of water used), also known as crop water productivity, can be improved through irrigation management and methods, including deficit irrigation (irrigating less than is required for maximum yields) and supplemental irrigation (irrigating to supplement precipitation so as to avoid crop failure or severe yield decline). Thus, WUE is key for agricultural production with limited water resources.

Policymakers and water resource managers working at all scales need to evaluate the many ways in which cropping systems and the amounts, timing, and methods of both irrigation and fertilizer applications may be changed to improve WUE while meeting yield and harvest quality goals. Field experiments are too costly to address all scenarios, but computer models of crop growth and yield may fill in the gaps if the models are shown to be accurate predictors of WUE.

An international team of experts led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations developed an agronomic model called AquaCrop to address the need for modeling of WUE under widely varying conditions around the world and with limited data.

To look at the ability of this and other agronomic models to estimate WUE, a team member with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bushland, TX, organized a symposium, “Yield Response to Water: Examination of the Role of Crop Models in Predicting Water Use Efficiency,” at the 2007 Annual International meeting of the Agronomy Society of America. Results using several agronomic models were discussed.

Nine papers arising from the symposium are published in a special section of the May–June 2009 issue of Agronomy Journal. The papers explore how four of the simulation models were used to simulate yield, water use, and WUE of cotton, maize (corn), quinoa, and sunflower in North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. All the models simulated WUE adequately under well-watered conditions, but tended to overestimate or underestimate WUE under conditions of water stress. This limits their usefulness for exploration of deficit irrigation scenarios or rain-fed or dryland situations with less than adequate water.

According to symposium organizer Steve Evett, “Future studies exploring WUE simulation should include evaporation or transpiration measurements in addition to total crop water use measurements. In doing so, management methods that reduce evaporation in favor of transpiration can be studied and models of WUE can be tested and improved.”

This examination of WUE estimation by multiple models helps close the gap that exists between what can be done using crop simulation models and what policymakers and managers need from these models in order to develop useful management alternatives for crop selection and timing, tillage systems, and irrigation and fertilization practices. Development of AquaCrop and several other models is continuing and will be guided by the findings of these studies.

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at http://agron.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/101/3/423.

A peer-reviewed international journal of agriculture and natural resource sciences, Agronomy Journal is published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy, with articles relating to original research in soil science, crop science, agroclimatology and agronomic modeling, production agriculture, and software. For more information visit: http://agron.scijournals.org.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.agronomy.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>