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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #72693


item Moran, Mary
item MAAS, S
item Clarke, Thomas
item Pinter Jr, Paul
item Qi, Jiaguo
item Mitchell, Thomas
item Kimball, Bruce
item NEALE, C

Submitted to: International Evapotranspiration Irrigation Scheduling Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/8/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Each year, farm managers in arid and semi-arid regions face the difficult task of determining the timing of crop irrigations and the optimum amount of water to be applied. Such decisions are often based solely on meteorological conditions such as air temperature and solar irradiance, without regard for actual crop and soil conditions. An alternative may be to combine information from meteorological stations with images of crop conditions acquired with sensors aboard low-flying aircraft. A method is proposed to use a physical model with readily- available meteorological data and periodic updates from airborne images to produce accurate, daily estimates of crop evaporative water loss and crop growth. Results from a test of this approach in Arizona showed that daily estimates of crop and soil conditions provided valuable field-by-field information that could be used to make irrigation decisions. Success with this approach will lead to optimal use of limited water resources and increased profits for farmers.

Technical Abstract: A crop/soil model was combined with remotely-sensed data to provide farm managers with information about actual crop evaporative water loss (E) for use in scheduling irrigations. This approach was demonstrated using accurate, daily estimates of E and green leaf area index (GLAI) could be obtained based on readily-available meteorological information and periodic remotely-sensed data.