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Water 2016, 8(12), 557; doi:10.3390/w8120557

Assessment of FAO AquaCrop Model for Simulating Maize Growth and Productivity under Deficit Irrigation in a Tropical Environment

1
Department of Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, 1 Shuefu Rd., Neipu, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
2
Department of Civil Engineering, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, 1 Shuefu Rd., Neipu, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Tim Hess and Jerry Knox
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Water Management in Agriculture)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1517 KB, uploaded 29 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

Crop simulation models have a pivotal role to play in evaluating irrigation management strategies for improving agricultural water use. The objective of this study was to test and validate the AquaCrop model for maize under deficit irrigation management. Field observations from three experiments consisting of four treatments were used to evaluate model performance in simulating canopy cover (CC), biomass (B), yield (Y), crop evapotranspiration (ETc), and water use efficiency (WUE). Statistics for root mean square error, model efficiency (E), and index of agreement for B and CC suggest that the model prediction is good under non-stressed and moderate stress environments. Prediction of final B and Y under these conditions was acceptable, as indicated by the high coefficient of determination and deviations <10%. In severely stressed conditions, low E and deviations >11% for B and 9% for Y indicate a reduction in the model reliability. Simulated ETc and WUE deviation from observed values were within the range of 9.5% to 22.2% and 6.0% to 32.2%, respectively, suggesting that AquaCrop prediction of these variables is fair, becoming unsatisfactory as plant water stress intensifies. AquaCrop can be reliably used for evaluating the effectiveness of proposed irrigation management strategies for maize; however, the limitations should be kept in mind when interpreting the results in severely stressed conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation management; AquaCrop model; maize; deficit irrigation irrigation management; AquaCrop model; maize; deficit irrigation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Greaves, G.E.; Wang, Y.-M. Assessment of FAO AquaCrop Model for Simulating Maize Growth and Productivity under Deficit Irrigation in a Tropical Environment. Water 2016, 8, 557.

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