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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Water Management and Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397813

Research Project: Improving Water Management for Arid Irrigated Agroecosystems

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

Title: WINDS model demonstration with field data from a furrow-irrigated cotton experiment

item MAQSOOD, HADIQA - University Of Arizona
item Hunsaker, Douglas - Doug
item WALLER, PETER - University Of Arizona
item Thorp, Kelly
item French, Andrew
item ELSHIKHA, DIAA ELDIN - University Of Arizona
item LOEFFLER, REID - University Of Arizona

Submitted to: Water
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2023
Publication Date: 4/14/2023
Citation: Maqsood, H., Hunsaker, D.J., Waller, P.M., Thorp, K.R., French, A.N., Elshikha, D.M., Loeffler, R. 2023. WINDS model demonstration with field data from a furrow-irrigated cotton experiment. Water. 15(8). Article 1544.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is one of the most important crops produced in the United States, including significant production in the arid, low desert regions of Arizona. In these regions, considerable amounts of irrigation water is needed to achieve a desirable cotton yield. However, drought in the region and other factors will force cotton growers to use less water than that used in the past. Reliable irrigation modeling tools can help cotton growers with better management decisions leading to more efficient water-use. In this research, an ARS scientist at Maricopa, Arizona, and University of Arizona partners evaluated the ability of the WINDS (Water-Use, Irrigation, Nitrogen, Drainage, and Salinity) model to simulate the crop water-use and rooting zone soil water distribution of cotton grown in Maricopa. The WINDS simulation results showed good agreement to measured field-data for different cotton treatments in the experiment. In addition, it was shown that WINDS was able to accurately predict the soil water content within sequential soil layers of the cotton profile as measured by deep soil water sensing equipment. Such simulation information would be extremely useful to growers for providing more precise irrigation amounts to cotton with limited water. This research will be of interest to cotton irrigation farmers, irrigation consultants, state and federal water management entities, and researchers.

Technical Abstract: The WINDS (Water-Use, Irrigation, Nitrogen, Drainage, and Salinity) model was developed to provide decision support for irrigated-crop management in the U.S. Southwest. The model uses a daily time-step soil water balance (SWB) to simulate the dynamics of water content in the soil profile and evapotranspiration. The model employs a tipping bucket approach during infiltration events and Richards’ equation between infiltration events. This research demonstrates WINDS simulation of a furrow-irrigated cotton experiment, conducted in 2007 in central Arizona, U.S. Calibration procedures for WINDS include the crop coefficient curve or segmented crop coefficient curve, rate of root growth, and root activity during the growing season. In this research, field capacity and wilting point were measured in the laboratory at each location and in each layer. Field measurements included water contents in layers by neutron moisture meter (NMM), irrigation, crop growth, final yield, and actual ETc derived by SWB. The calibrated WINDS model was compared to the neutron probe moisture contents. The average coefficient of determination was 0.92 and average root mean squared error (RMSE) was 0.027 m3 m-3. The study also demonstrated WINDS ability to reproduce measured crop evapotranspiration (ETc actual) during the growing season. This paper introduces the online WINDS model (