Water Management and Conservation Research Unit
USDA-ARS U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center
B.S. Agricultural Engineering,
M.S. Agricultural Engineering,
Ph.D. Agricultural Engineering,
My research focuses primarily on the development and application of informational technologies for understanding agricultural system processes and improving management of water and nutrients for crop production. Developing strategies for remote sensing data collection and algorithms for remote sensing image processing are key components of my research. Special emphasis is on hyperspectral remote sensing of crop canopies in the visible, near-infrared, and short-wave infrared wavebands. I also develop, evaluate, and apply cropping system simulation models, including the ARS Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) and the Cropping System Model (CSM) as distributed with the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). Efforts are currently focused on the development of data assimilation, parameter estimation, and inverse modeling techniques for merging remote sensing data into the simulations of cropping system models. Application areas for these informational technologies include crop water and nitrogen status assessment, precision agriculture, management of nitrogen fertilizer, irrigation and drainage water management, field-based plant phenomics, and development of new bioenergy crops.
Thorp, K.R., Wang, G., West, A.L., Moran, M.S., Bronson, K.F., White, J.W., Mon, J. 2012. Estimating crop biophysical properties from remote sensing data by inverting linked radiative transfer and ecophysiological models. Remote Sensing of Environment. 124:224-233.
Nearing, G.S., Crow, W.T., Thorp, K.R., Moran, M.S., Reichle, R.H., and Gupta, H.V. 2012. Assimilating remote sensing observations of leaf area index and soil moisture for wheat yield estimates: An observing system simulation experiment. Water Resources Research, 48, W05525, doi:10.1029/2011WR011420.
White J.W., Andrade-Sanchez, P., Gore, M.A., Bronson, K.F., Coffelt, T.A., Conley, M.M., Feldmann, K.A., French, A.N., Heun, J.T., Hunsaker, D.J., Jenks, M.A., Kimball, B.A., Roth, R.L., Strand, R.J. Thorp, K.R., Wall, G.W., Wang, G. 2012. Field-based phenomics for plant genetics research. Field Crops Research. 133:101-112.
Nolan, B.T., Malone, R.W., Gronberg, J.A., Thorp, K.R., and Ma, L. 2012. Verifiable metamodels for nitrate losses to drains and groundwater in the Corn Belt, USA. Environmental Science & Technology. 46(2):901-908.
Gutierrez, M., Norton, R., Thorp, K. R., Wang, G. 2012. Association of spectral reflectance indices with plant growth and lint yield in upland cotton. Crop Science. 52(2):849-857.
Fang, Q.X., Malone, R.W., Ma, L., Jaynes, D.B., Thorp, K.R., Green, T.R., and Ahuja, L.R. 2012. Modeling the effects of controlled drainage, N rate and weather on nitrate loss to subsurface drainage. Agricultural Water Management. 103(1):150-161.
Thorp, K.R., White, J.W., Porter, C.H., Hoogenboom, G., Nearing, G.S., and French, A.N. 2012. Methodology to evaluate the performance of simulation models for alternative compiler and operating system configurations. Computers and Electronic in Agriculture. 81(1):62-71.
Sánchez, J.M., French, A.N., Mira, M., Hunsaker, D.J., Thorp, K.R., Valor, E., and Caselles, V. 2011. Thermal infrared emissivity dependence on soil moisture in field conditions. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 49(11 Part 2):4652-4659.
Qi, Z., Helmers, M.J., Malone, R.W., and Thorp, K.R. 2011. Simulating long-term impacts of winter rye cover crop on hydrologic cycling and nitrogen dynamics for a corn-soybean crop system. Transactions of the ASABE. 54(5):1575-1588.
Dierig, D.A., Wang, G., McCloskey, W.B., Thorp, K.R., Isbell, T.A., Ray, D.T., and Foster, M.A. 2011. Lesquerella: New crop development and commercialization in the U.S. Industrial Crops and Products. 34(2):1381-1385.
Thorp, K.R., and Dierig, D.A. 2011. Color image segmentation approach to monitor flowering in lesquerella. Industrial Crops and Products. 34(1):1150-1159.
Thorp, K.R., Dierig, D.A., French, A.N., and Hunsaker, D.J. 2011. Analysis of hyperspectral reflectance data for monitoring growth and development of lesquerella. Industrial Crops and Products. 33(2):524-531.
Nearing, G.S., Moran, M.S., Thorp, K.R., Holifield Collins, C.D., and Slack, D.C. 2010. Likelihood parameter estimation for calibrating a soil moisture model using radar backscatter. Remote Sensing of Environment. 114(11):2564-2574.
Thorp, K.R., Hunsaker, D.J., French, A.N. 2010. Assimilating leaf area index estimates from remote sensing into the simulations of a cropping systems model. Transactions of the ASABE. 53(1):251-262.
Thorp, K.R., Hunsaker, D.J., French, A.N., White, J.W., Clarke, T.R., and Pinter Jr., P.J. 2010. Evaluation of the CSM-CROPSIM-CERES-Wheat model as a tool for crop water management. Transactions of the ASABE. 53(1):87-102.
Thorp, K.R., Youssef, M.A., Jaynes, D.B., Malone, R.W., and Ma. L. 2009. DRAINMOD-N II: Evaluated for an agricultural system in
Hunsaker, D.J., El-Shikha, D.M., Clarke, T.R., French, A.N., and Thorp, K.R. 2009. Using ESAP software for predicting the spatial distributions of NDVI and transpiration of cotton. Agricultural Water Management. 96(9):1293-1304.
French, A.N., Hunsaker, D.J., Thorp, K.R., and Clarke, T.R. 2009. Evapotranspiration over a camelina crop at Maricopa,
Li, L., Malone, R.W., Ma, L., Kaspar, T.C., Jaynes, D.B., Saseendran, S.A., Thorp, K.R., Yu, Q., and Ahuja, R.L. 2008. Winter cover crop effects on nitrate leaching in subsurface drainage as simulated by RZWQM-DSSAT. Transactions of the ASABE. 51(5):1575-1583.
Thorp, K.R., Dejonge, K.C., Kaleita, A.L., Batchelor, W.D., and Paz, J.O. 2008. Methodology for the use of DSSAT models for precision agriculture decision support. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 64(2):276-285.
Ma, L., Malone, R.W., Jaynes, D.B., Thorp, K.R., and Ahuja, L.R. 2008. Simulated effects of nitrogen management and soil microbes on soil nitrogen balance and crop production. Soil Science Society of
Thorp, K.R., Jaynes, D.B., and Malone, R.W. 2008. Simulating the long-term performance of drainage water management across the midwestern
Thorp, K.R., Steward, B.L., Kaleita, A.L., and Batchelor, W.D. 2008. Using aerial hyperspectral remote sensing imagery to estimate corn plant stand density. Transactions of the ASABE. 51(1):311-320.
Thorp, K.R., Malone, R.W., and Jaynes, D.B. 2007. Simulating long-term effects of nitrogen fertilizer application rates on corn yield and nitrogen dynamics. Transactions of the ASABE. 50(4):1287-1303.
Thorp, K.R., Batchelor, W.D., Paz, J.O, Kaleita, A.L., and DeJonge, K.C. 2007. Using cross validation to evaluate CERES-Maize yield simulations within a decision support system for precision agriculture. Transactions of the ASABE. 50(4):1467-1479.
DeJonge, K.C., Kaleita, A.L., and Thorp, K.R. 2007. Simulating the effects of spatially variable irrigation on corn yields, costs, and revenue in
Thorp, K.R., Batchelor, W.D., Paz, J.O., Steward, B.L., and Caragea, P.C. 2006. Methodology to link production and environmental risks of precision nitrogen management strategies in corn. Agricultural Systems. 89(2-3):272-298.
Thorp, K.R., and Tian, L.F. 2004. A review on remote sensing of weeds in agriculture. Precision Agriculture. 5(5):477-508.
Thorp, K.R., and Tian, L.F. 2004. Performance study of remote sensing-based variable-rate herbicide applications. Biosystems Engineering. 88(1):35-47.
Thorp, K.R., Tian, L.F.,