Submitted to: Agricultural Experiment Station Publication
Publication Type: Experiment station
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2013
Publication Date: 6/1/2013
Citation: Nielsen, D.C. 2013. Winter wheat yield response to available water. p. 56-57. In J.J. Johnson (ed.) Making Better Decisions. CSU Tech. Rep., 2013 Wheat Field Days Edition, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins. http://www.extsoilcrop.colostate.edu/CropVar/documents/winterwheat/2012/wheatreport_2012_WFD_Update.pdf Interpretive Summary: This brief article describes the relationship between winter wheat yield and crop water use. That relationship is the basis for a spreadsheet calculator decision support tool that uses average precipitation records at several central Great Plains locations and a user-entered value for available soil water at planting to calculate a yield estimate. A description is given regarding how to measure or estimate the available soil water condition at planting that is needed by the spreadsheet calculator.
Technical Abstract: Dryland winter wheat yields in eastern Colorado can vary greatly from year to year and are primarily limited by available water supplies. Yields increase linearly with water use at an average rate of 4.7 bu/a per inch of water used after the first 5 inches of water use. An Excel-based spreadsheet calculator has been developed as a decision support tool that will estimate the yields for 17 crops at 15 central Great Plains locations in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. The calculator was used to estimate yields under varying precipitation and starting soil water conditions. A description is given regarding how to measure or estimate the available soil water condition at planting that is needed by the spreadsheet calculator.