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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(5), 5951-5979; doi:10.3390/rs70505951

Impact of Sowing Date on Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Wheat Analyzed through Spatial Modeling and FORMOSAT-2 Images

1
CESBIO—UMR CNRS-CNES-IRD-UPS, 18 Av. EdouardBelin, BPI 280, Toulouse Cedex 9, France
2
ITSON, Departamento de Cienciasdel Agua y del Medio Ambiente, 5 de Febrero 818 Sur, Cd. Obregón, Sonora 85000, Mexico
3
Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Boulevard Prince My Abdellah, B.P. 2390, 40000 Marrakech, Maroc
4
UNISON, Blvd. Luis Encinas y Rosales S/N, Col. Centro, Hermosillo, Sonora 83000, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yoshio Inoue and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 1 July 2014 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 13 May 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1409 KB, uploaded 13 May 2015]   |  

Abstract

Regional analysis of water use efficiency (WUE) is a relevant method for diagnosing the performance of irrigation systems in water-limited environments. In this study, we investigated the potential of FORMOSAT-2 images to provide spatial estimates of WUE over irrigated wheat crops cultivated within the semi-arid Yaqui Valley, in the northwest of Mexico. FORMOSAT-2 provided us with a unique dataset of 36 images at a high resolution (8 m) encompassing the wheat growing season from November 2007 to May 2008. Time series of green leaf area index were derived from these satellite images and used to calibrate a simple crop/water balance model. The method was applied over an 8 × 8 km2 irrigated area on up to 530 wheat fields. It allowed us to accurately reproduce the time courses of Leaf Area Index and dry aboveground biomass, as well as evapotranspiration and soil moisture. In a second step, we analyzed the variations of WUE as the ratio of accumulated dry aboveground biomass to seasonal evapotranspiration. Despite the study area being rather small and homogeneous (soil, climate), we observed a large range in wheat biomass production, from 5 to 15 t·ha−1, which was primarily related to the timing of plant emergence. In contrast, the seasonal evapotranspiration only varied from 350 to 450 mm, with no evident link with sowing practices. A significant gain in crop water productivity was found for the fields sown the earliest (maximal WUE around 3.5 kg·m−3) compared to those sown the latest (minimal WUE around 1.5 kg·m−3). These results demonstrated the value of the FORMOSAT-2 images to provide spatial estimates of crop production and water consumption. The detailed information provided by such high space and time resolution imaging systems is highly valuable to identify agricultural practices that could enlarge crop water productivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; FORMOSAT; crop model; water balance; evapotranspiration; biomass production; wheat; water use efficiency; sowing; irrigation remote sensing; FORMOSAT; crop model; water balance; evapotranspiration; biomass production; wheat; water use efficiency; sowing; irrigation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Duchemin, B.; Fieuzal, R.; Rivera, M.A.; Ezzahar, J.; Jarlan, L.; Rodriguez, J.C.; Hagolle, O.; Watts, C. Impact of Sowing Date on Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Wheat Analyzed through Spatial Modeling and FORMOSAT-2 Images. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 5951-5979.

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