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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #399096

Research Project: Dryland and Irrigated Crop Management Under Limited Water Availability and Drought

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: The Bushland, Texas, soybean datasets

item Evett, Steven - Steve
item Copeland, Karen
item Ruthardt, Brice
item Marek, Gary
item Colaizzi, Paul
item HOWELL, SR., TERRY - Retired ARS Employee
item Brauer, David

Submitted to: Ag Data Commons
Publication Type: Database / Dataset
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2023
Publication Date: 4/17/2023
Citation: Evett, S.R., Copeland, K.S., Ruthardt, B.B., Marek, G.W., Colaizzi, P.D., Howell, Sr., T., Brauer, D.K. 2023. The Bushland, Texas, soybean datasets. Ag Data Commons.

Interpretive Summary: The scarcity of water resources in the U.S. Southern High Plains is of regional, national and even international concern due to the fact that the region acts as a breadbasket for the nation and world. The majority of agricultural production in this region depends on irrigation, largely dependent on pumping from the Ogallala or High Plains Aquifer, which are yielding less water every year. Soybean is a crop grown for animal feed or for oil and is often grown as a catch crop after cotton failure. Scientists at the USDA ARS Conservation & Production Research Laboratory at Bushland, Texas, collected data regarding soybean water use over five seasons to determine the amount of water used in the region’s climate, and regionally specific crop coefficients for irrigation scheduling. However, these data have not been previously publicly available in a readily useable format. Thus, the scientific team has prepared these unique data sets for sharing with other scientists and the general public on the USDA National Agricultural Library online data sharing library. These data sets have already been used to provide crop growth, water use, yield, and crop water productivity, as well as crop coefficients to guide irrigation scheduling and water planning locally and regionally. Public accessibility via the USDA National Agricultural Library will increase their use by other researchers developing more capable water management tools and crop water use and yield computer models.

Technical Abstract: Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a crop grown for animal feed or oil in the U.S. Southern High Plains, often under irrigation, but its water use, water productivity (water use efficiency) and crop coefficients for irrigation scheduling are not well known for the Texas High Plains. These parameters are complicated because soybean may be late planted as a catch crop after cotton failure. Accurate ET is important for effective irrigation scheduling to improve crop water productivity, irrigation scheme management, long term water resource planning and management, and for use in crop simulation models to improve accuracy of yield estimates. However, all crop ET estimation methods must be tested against ground truth – ET as measured by mass balance in crop fields – and improved so as to estimate ET as accurately as possible. Mass balance measurement of ET depends on solving the soil water balance in which ET is the sum of the change of water stored in the soil profile to well below the root zone, irrigation, precipitation, the sum of any runon and runoff, and any soil water flux into or out of the soil profile. Effective means of measuring the profile change in storage include the neutron probe and large weighing lysimeters. The USDA ARS weighing lysimeter team at Bushland, Texas, measured ET of soybean in 1995, 2003, 2004, 2010, and 2019 using both weighing lysimeters and the neutron probe. Water management ranged from full irrigation to deficit irrigation and dryland production. Along with those measurements, the team measured crop growth, yield, weather, and irrigation applied. These data are presented, along with cropping calendars for each season, as machine readable files available to the public via the USDA ARS National Agriculture Library (NAL) Ag Data Commons internet site. The cropping calendars contain dates of important field operations, including dates, amounts, and kinds of fertilizers and pesticides applied, harvests and irrigations. The weather data include daily sums and averages as well as 15-minute mean data for all days of the year, and include solar irradiance, air temperature, humidity, wind speed, air pressure, and precipitation. The Bushland soybean data have already been used to develop crop coefficients for irrigation management in the region and are suitable for improvement, calibration, and testing of crop water use and growth models.