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Data Extent

Standard Quality Controlled Research Weather Data – USDA-ARS, Bushland, Texas

The research weather station over mowed grass at the USDA ARS Laboratory, Bushland, Texas

[ NOTE – 2022/05/06: this dataset supersedes the earlier versions https://doi.org/10.15482/USDA.ADC/1482548 and https://doi.org/10.15482/USDA.ADC/1526329 ].

This dataset contains 15-minute mean weather data from the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Laboratory (CPRL), Soil and Water Management Research Unit (SWMRU) research weather station, Bushland, Texas (Lat. 35.186714°, Long. -102.094189°, elevation 1170 m above MSL) for all days in each year. The data are from sensors placed at 2-m height over a level, grass surface mowed to not exceed 12 cm height and irrigated and fertilized to maintain reference conditions as promulgated by Allen et al. (2005, 1998). Irrigation was by surface flood in 1989 through 1994, and by subsurface drip irrigation after 1994. Sensors were replicated and intercompared between replicates and with data from nearby weather stations, which were sometimes used for gap filling. Quality control and assurance methods are described by Evett et al. (2018). Data from a duplicate sensor were used to fill gaps in data from the primary sensor using appropriate regression relationships. Gap filling was also accomplished using sensors deployed at one of the four large weighing lysimeters immediately west of the weather station, or using sensors at other nearby stations when reliable regression relationships could be developed. The primary paper describes details of the sensors used and methods of testing, calibration, inter-comparison, and use. The weather data include air temperature (C) and relative humidity (%), wind speed (m/s), solar irradiance (W m-2), barometric pressure (kPa), and precipitation (rain and snow in mm). Because the large (3 m by 3 m surface area) weighing lysimeters are better rain gages than are tipping bucket gages, the 15-minute precipitation data are derived for each lysimeter from changes in lysimeter mass. The land slope is <0.3% and flat. The mean annual precipitation is ~470 mm, the 20-year pan evaporation record indicates ~2,600 mm Class A pan evaporation per year, and winds are typically from the South and Southwest. The climate is semi-arid with ~70% (350 mm) of the annual precipitation occurring from May to September, during which period the pan evaporation averages ~1520 mm.
These datasets originate from research aimed at determining crop water use (ET), crop coefficients for use in ET-based irrigation scheduling based on a reference ET, crop growth, yield, harvest index, and crop water productivity as affected by irrigation method, timing, amount (full or some degree of deficit), agronomic practices, cultivar, and weather. The data have utility for testing simulation models of crop ET, growth, and yield and have been used by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), by OPENET, and by many others for testing, and calibrating models of ET that use satellite and/or weather data.

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-102.09906463948 35.191719970106, -102.07671433134 35.19121493622, -102.07678299485 35.1865853205, -102.07609634934 35.177044674547, -102.09913330298 35.177072738625))
Ag Data Commons
Temporal Coverage
January 1, 1987
Contact Name
Evett, Steven R.
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Program Code
005:040 - Department of Agriculture - National Research
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service