Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314607

Research Project: Enhanced System Models and Decision Support Tools to Optimize Water Limited Agriculture

Location: Location not imported yet.

Title: Simulating maize production, water and surface energy balance, and canopy temperature under full and deficit irrigation

Author
item Qi, Zhiming - McGill University - Canada
item Ma, Liwang
item Bausch, Walter
item Trout, Thomas
item Ahuja, Lajpat
item Flerchinger, Gerald
item Fang, Quanxiao - Qingdao Agricultural University

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/24/2015
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Citation: Qi, Z., Ma, L., Bausch, W.C., Trout, T.J., Ahuja, L.R., Flerchinger, G.N., Fang, Q. 2016. Simulating maize production, water and surface energy balance, and canopy temperature under full and deficit irrigation. Transactions of the ASABE. 59:623-633.

Interpretive Summary: Surface energy balance is driving crop water use, but has not been simulated in most crop models. The objective of this study was to evaluate the simulation of crop growth, water and surface energy balance components, and canopy temperature under full and deficit irrigated corn in eastern Colorado, using a hybrid version of the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) and the Simultaneous Heat and Water model (SHAW) (RZ-SHAW). The field experiment was conducted in 2010 under both full and deficit irrigation conditions with energy balance measured using the Bowen ratio method. The results showed that the model simulated the grain yield satisfactorily with an error less than 5%. Leaf area index, daily ET, soil water content, canopy temperature, and energy balance components, including net radiation (Rn), latent heat (LE), sensible heat (H) and ground heat flux (G) were simulated well with coefficient of determination (R2) = 0.64 and model efficiency (ME) = 0.57 for both full and deficit irrigation fields. The RZ-SHAW model accurately predicted response of crop growth and ET to water stress, and the simulated water stress was in good agreement with observed elevated canopy temperature with deficit irrigation after silking. However, the model performance was not acceptable in predicting the plant height for water stressed corn, nor in simulating the difference in canopy temperature between full and deficit irrigated corn. This study suggests that the RZWQM-SHAW model can be used to evaluate the response of corn yield and water and energy balance to water stress and the effects of water deficit on plant height and canopy temperature need further improvement.

Technical Abstract: Surface energy balance is critical to the understanding of crop evapotranspiration (ET) requirement and crop water stresses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the simulation of crop growth, water and surface energy balance components, and canopy temperature under full and deficit irrigated corn in eastern Colorado, using a hybrid version of the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) and the Simultaneous Heat and Water model (SHAW) (RZ-SHAW). The field experiment was conducted in 2010 under both full and deficit irrigation conditions with energy balance measured using the Bowen ratio method. The results showed that the model simulated the grain yield satisfactorily with an error less than 5%. Leaf area index, daily ET, soil water content, canopy temperature, and energy balance components, including net radiation (Rn), latent heat (LE), sensible heat (H) and ground heat flux (G) were simulated well with coefficient of determination (R2) = 0.64 and model efficiency (ME) = 0.57 for both full and deficit irrigation fields, though Rn and LE were in general underestimated and G was overestimated during the growing season. The RZ-SHAW model accurately predicted response of crop growth and ET to water stress, and the simulated water stress was in good agreement with observed elevated canopy temperature with deficit irrigation after silking. However, the model performance was not acceptable in predicting the plant height for water stressed corn, nor in simulating the difference in canopy temperature between full and deficit irrigated corn. This study suggests that the RZWQM-SHAW model can be used to evaluate the response of corn yield and water and energy balance to water stress and the effects of water deficit on plant height and canopy temperature need further improvement.