Validating the FAO aquacrop model for rainfed maize in Pennsylvania

Valerie J. Mebane, Rick L. Day, James M. Hamlett, Jack E. Watson, Greg W. Roth

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21 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is widely known that a close relationship exists between crop production and water stress. In this study, field-measured data were used to test the performance of AquaCrop and its ability to capture this relationship for rainfed maize (Zea mays L.) in Pennsylvania. The objectives were to evaluate AquaCrop's ability to simulate the progression of cumulative biomass and grain yield with time, final biomass and harvestable yield, and volumetric water content at six depths. Two years of data from a study conducted in Rock Springs, PA, were used to validate AquaCrop's ability to accurately simulate the progression of cumulative biomass and grain yield with time, as well as final biomass and harvestable yield. Data collected from January 2004 to March 2006 from a study conducted near Landisville, PA, were used to assess AquaCrop's ability to effectively simulate soil moisture content at six depths. In addition, the 2004 and 2005 seasonal final biomass measurements obtained from the Landisville location were compared with the model's simulated values. The results indicated that AquaCrop was able to accurately simulate the progression of cumulative biomass and grain yield with time, with index of agreement values ranging from 0.96 to 0.99. Comparisons between simulated and measured final biomass and final harvestable yield produced biomass deviations ranging from 2.4 to 20.7% and yield deviations of 2.9 and 15.3%. The water balance evaluation indicated that, averaged across all depths, the results were consistent with other validation studies of soil water balance models, with RMSE ranging from 1.5 to 9.8% (v/v).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-427
Number of pages9
JournalAgronomy Journal
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2013

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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