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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » SWRC » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #310606

Research Project: Soil Erosion, Sediment Yield, and Decision Support Systems for Improved Land Management on Semiarid Rangeland Watersheds

Location: Southwest Watershed Research Center

Title: A decision support system for rainfed agricultural areas of Mexico

Author
item SANCHEZ-COHEN, I. - Instituto Nacional De Investigaciones Forestales Y Agropecuarias (INIFAP)
item DÍAZ-PADILLA, G. - Instituto Nacional De Investigaciones Forestales Y Agropecuarias (INIFAP)
item VELASQUEZ-VALLE, M. - Instituto Nacional De Investigaciones Forestales Y Agropecuarias (INIFAP)
item SLACK, D.C. - University Of Arizona
item Heilman, Philip - Phil
item PEDROZA-SANDOVAL, A. - Instituto Nacional De Investigaciones Forestales Y Agropecuarias (INIFAP)

Submitted to: Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2015
Publication Date: 5/1/2015
Citation: Sanchez-Cohen, I., Díaz-Padilla, G., Velasquez-Valle, M., Slack, D., Heilman, P., Pedroza-Sandoval, A. 2015. A decision support system for rainfed agricultural areas of Mexico. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 14:178-188.

Interpretive Summary: Mexican farmers do not have readily available technical information to support decisions about agro-climatic risk. Given the range of sophistication in farmers, a framework to provide such information has been developed linking a computer model, a knowledge-base, and climate information, to be improved through time. The computer model (soil water balance model) is used to assess the impact of rainfall shortages on crops yields in dry lands. The model is linked to a knowledge-based database where a farmer may find readily available information to support cropping decisions. If the computed average crop yield is less than the 50% of the expected crop yield, the use is provided information about how to address the shortfall from knowledge base. The knowledge base provides information on risk, potential crops, and the geographical location where a particular crop may succeed. Also, information about technologies to increase water productivity is provided. Further, the model can evaluate the impact of a climate change scenario (IPCC B2). The user can run the climate change scenario to compare the outputs of the model to assess the climate change impact on future crops yields.

Technical Abstract: Rural inhabitants of arid lands lack sufficient water to fulfill their agricultural and household needs. They do not have readily available technical information to support decisions regarding the course of action they should follow to handle the agro-climatic risk. In this paper, a computer model (soil water balance model) is described to assess the impact of rainfall shortages on crop yields in dry lands in Mexico. The model is linked to a knowledge-based database where a farmer may find readily available information to support cropping decisions. The knowledge base activates when the computed average crop yield is less than the 50% of the expected crop yield. The knowledge base provides information on risk, potential crops, and the geographical location (counties) where a particular crop may succeed. Also, it suggests a technology to increase water productivity under limited availability situations. Further, the model can evaluate the impact of a climate change scenario (based on IPCC B2). By keeping other inputs to the model the same, the user may run the climate change scenario to compare the outputs of the model to assess the climate change impact on future crops yields.