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Irrigator Pro

    Irrigator Pro is an expert system designed to provide irrigation scheduling recommendations based on scientific data resulting in conservation minded irrigation management. The success of Irrigator Pro for Peanuts created interest in other groups. A collaborative effort between the NPRL, Cotton Commission, University of Georgia, and the Peanut Foundation was established to create comparable models for cotton and corn.

    Bushland ET Calculator

      The Bushland Reference ET calculator was developed at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, Bushland, Texas. Although it was designed and developed for use mainly by producers and crop consultants to manage irrigation scheduling, it can also be used in educational training, research, and other practical application. It uses the ASCE Standardized Reference Evapotranspiration (ET) Equation for calculating grass and alfalfa reference ET at hourly and daily time steps. This program uses the more complex equation for estimating clear-sky solar radiation provided in Appendix D of the ASCE-EWRI ET Manual. Users have the option of using single set or time series weather data to calculate reference ET. Daily reference ET can be calculated either by summing the hourly ET values for a given day or by using averages of the climatic data.

      Bushland Evapotranspiration and Agricultural Remote Sensing System (BEARS) Software

        Evapotranspiration (ET) is a major component of the hydrologic cycle. ET data are used for a variety of water management and research purposes such as irrigation scheduling, water and crop modeling, streamflow, water availability, and many more. Remote sensing products have been widely used to create spatially representative ET data sets which provide important information from field to regional scales. As UAV capabilities increase, remote sensing use is likely to also increase. For that purpose, scientists at the USDA-ARS research laboratory in Bushland, TX developed the Bushland Evapotranspiration and Agricultural Remote Sensing System (BEARS) software. The BEARS software is a Java based software that allows users to process remote sensing data to generate ET outputs using predefined models, or enter custom equations and models. The capability to define new equations and build new models expands the applicability of the BEARS software beyond ET mapping to any remote sensing application. The software also includes an image viewing tool that allows users to visualize outputs, as well as draw an area of interest using various shapes.


          Root Zone Water Quality Model 2 (RZWQM2) is a whole-system model for studying crop production and environmental quality under current and changing climate conditions. It emphasizes the effects of agricultural management practices on physical, chemical and biological processes. RZWQM2 is a one-dimensional model with a pseudo 2-dimensional drainage flow. Crop simulation options include the generic plant growth model, DSSAT-CSM 4.0 and HERMES SUCROS models. It also can simulate surface energy balance with components from the SHAW model and water erosion from the GLEAMS model. An automated parameter estimation algorithm (PEST) was added to RZWQM2 for objective model calibration and uncertainty analysis.


            An interactive computer program was developed to simulate the interactions among the above factors. It shows how changing one factor impacts the outcome of the other factors for a single growing season. The user selects a climate, a crop, and soil characteristics from menu lists, and then sets the water table depth and quality, irrigation (river or well) water quality and then develops an irrigation schedule. On execution, the relative yield reductions due to over irrigation, under irrigation, and salinity, water table rise or fall and surface runoff are shown numerically for the growing season. Soil water content, soil salinity, water table depth changes and rain and irrigation events during the season are also shown graphically.

            USDA-ARS Colorado Maize Water Productivity Dataset 2012-2013

              The USDA-Agricultural Research Service carried out an experiment on water productivity in response to seasonal timing of irrigation of maize (*Zea mays* L.) at the Limited Irrigation Research Farm (LIRF) facility in northeastern Colorado (40°26’ N, 104°38’ W) starting in 2012. Twelve treatments involved different water availability targeted at specific growth-stages. This dataset includes data from the first two years, which were complete years with intact treatments. Data includes canopy growth and development (canopy height, canopy cover and LAI), irrigation, precipitation, and soil water storage measured periodically through the season; daily estimates of crop evapotranspiration; and seasonal measurement of crop water use, harvest index and crop yield. Hourly and daily weather data are also provided from the CoAgMET, Colorado’s network of meteorological information.