Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Calculating crop and ethanol yields and irrigation needs in four easy steps

Date:
April 22, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Estimating crop yields based on available water in semi-arid regions has been made easier for several hundred farmers who are using a special calculator computer program.

Estimating crop yields based on available water in semi-arid regions has been made easier for several hundred farmers who are using a special calculator computer program developed by an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist.

Related Articles


Several hundred farmers in the Central Great Plains have picked up a copy of the device, called the MultiCalculator CD, at field days and other outreach meetings, according to David Nielsen, the agronomist who developed it at the ARS Central Great Plains Research Station in Akron, Colo.

The MultiCalculator uses three simple Excel spreadsheets, downloadable at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=19206. In four steps, the yield calculator predicts non-irrigated crop yields -- a vital factor in the semi-arid central plains.

First, farmers estimate how much available soil water their fields have. Farmers can tab to a table on a different screen that helps them make this estimate, giving multiplication factors for various soil types. For example, farmers on the predominant soil type in the area, silty loam, would multiply the depth of their wet soil by 2.2 to get the number of inches of soil water available for the crop at planting time.

In the next three steps, farmers choose a crop, a location, and guess the percentage of average precipitation they expect during the growing season.

The computer instantly shows the yields they can expect. The yield calculator does this for 18 crops, including cereal grains, seed legumes, oilseeds, and forages.

The water calculator also works in reverse -- in five steps -- beginning with the farmer choosing a crop, then the target yield. It tells how much irrigation water will be needed to achieve the target yield.

In addition, the calculator will also tell farmers how many gallons of irrigation water they will need for each gallon of ethanol produced from the corn they grow.

The calculations are derived from data from long-term ARS research at Akron, which showed a linear relationship between crop yields and seasonal crop water use.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Don Comis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Calculating crop and ethanol yields and irrigation needs in four easy steps." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422112636.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, April 22). Calculating crop and ethanol yields and irrigation needs in four easy steps. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422112636.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Calculating crop and ethanol yields and irrigation needs in four easy steps." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422112636.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Wrongly categorized as lizard fossils, snake fossils now show the reptile could have developed earlier than we thought — 70 million years earlier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins