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Data Extent

Weighing Lysimeter Data for The Bushland, Texas Alfalfa Datasets

This dataset consists of four years of weighing lysimeter data for alfalfa grown at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Laboratory (CPRL), Soil and Water Management Research Unit (SWMRU), Bushland, Texas (Lat. 35.186714°, Long. -102.094189°, elevation 1170 m above MSL) in 1996 through 1999. Alfalfa was grown on two large, precision weighing lysimeters, each in the center of a 4.44 ha square field. The weighing lysimeters were used to measure mass, which was converted to relative soil water storage with 0.05 mm accuracy at 5-minute intervals, and the 5-minute change in soil water storage was used along with precipitation and irrigation amounts to calculate crop evapotranspiration (ET), which is reported at 15-minute intervals. Although a quality control process was used, the ET data in this dataset are considered raw data. Advanced algorithms for detection of precipitation, dew and frost were applied in a separate process to determine ET values that are reported in files in a dataset entitled "Evapotranspiration and Water Balance Data for The Bushland, Texas Alfalfa Datasets". Those files have "water-balance" in their names. Each lysimeter was equipped with a suite of instruments to sense wind speed, air temperature and relative humidity, components of the radiation balance (e.g., net radiation, incoming and reflected shortwave, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), incoming and reflected longwave, thermal infrared emitted by the plant/soil surface), soil heat flux, soil temperature, and soil volumetric water content at certain depths. Not all properties were always sensed in any one year; and instruments used changed from season to season, which are reasons that subsidiary datasets and data dictionaries for each season are required.
These datasets originate from research aimed at determining crop water use (ET), reference "tall crop" 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. Prior publications have focused on alfalfa ET, reference ET, crop coefficients, and crop water productivity. Crop coefficients have been used by ET networks. The data have utility for testing simulation models of crop ET, reference "tall crop" ET, growth, and yield and have been used by both USDA and university researchers.

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
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Bushland, Texas
Temporal Coverage
January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1999
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