Dietzel, R., Liebman, M., Ewing, R., Helmers, M., Horton, R., Jarchow, M. and Archontoulis, S. (2016), How efficiently do corn- and soybean-based cropping systems use water? A systems modeling analysis. Glob Change Biol, 22: 666–681. doi:10.1111/gcb.13101
- Customize the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) for dominant Midwestern US cropping systems by developing local crop and soil parameters and rigorously testing the model against long-term, continuous data
- Evaluate effects of drought, flood, and average precipitation conditions on WUE and sWUE
- Determine what amount of seasonal precipitation results in the most efficient use of water by corn and soybean cropping systems
The traditional water use efficiency (WUE = yield / evapotranspiration) index was developed to evaluate crop performance and variety screening. We expanded this index to also account for environmental aspects by including drainage water and runoff into the equation (sWUE = yield / evapotranspiration + drainage + runoff). The sWUE allows evaluation of cropping systems which is needed for US Midwest as water quality is important.
We used a high-resolution, multiyear field dataset that included various plant and soil components of corn and soybean cropping systems treatments from the Comparison of Biofuel Systems (COBS) site in central Iowa. We used these data to calibrate, test, and apply APSIM to estimate and compare WUE and sWUE for dominant cropping systems in Iowa.
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