Prediction of Spatial Yield and Water Use in Agriculture as a Function of Environmental Conditions
Gresham, D. D.
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Water is one of the most limiting resources for agricultural production in Georgia. Due to the uneven distribution of rainfall, supplemental irrigation is often required to be able to produce a sustainable yield level. In addition farmers have to cope with different soil water holding characteristics which also affect yield and final production. As a result both the temporal variation of the weather conditions and the spatial variability of soil conditions affect both crop growth, development and yield. Computer-based decision support systems have been developed to help understand the interaction between crops and the environment. In this analysis crop simulation models for soybean, peanut, maize, and wheat were used to study the relation between water use, yield, climatic, and soil conditions. The crop models SOYGRO, PNUTGRO, CERES-Maize and CERES-Wheat were linked with the Geographic Information System PC-ARC/INFO. This system was used to simulate crop growth and development for each polygon or field with different soil characteristics and to predict yield and other related crop input and output variables. Results showed that both water use and yield varied significantly as a function of seasonal climatic variation and soil water holding characteristics.