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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Prediction of Spring Wheat Yields from Temperature and Precipitation Data1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 3, p. 405-409
    Received: Sept 17, 1973

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  1. J. R. Haun2



As a consequence of studies indicating that daily plant growth rate can be used to establish specific, numerical, growth-environment relationships, it has been found that these relationships may be used in the prediction of yields. Design of a prediction system was based on the hypothesis that plant growth rate, as reflected in cumulative growth during the formative portion of plant developments, correlated with yield. To insure accessibility of sufficient data, environmental variables were limited to temperature and precipitation because these are generally the only variables published for long periods of time over broad geographical reas. Estimated soil moisture was calculated by the Thornthwaite-Mather method.

Significant lags were found in plant response to environmental variables. Lengths of lag periods also changed during the season. Thus, two prediction equations were used to accommodate these changes and they werea applied to the temperature and precipitation records. Resulting cumulative growth values and data representing pre-season moisture conditions were used as independent variables on which yield was regressed to provide a prediction equation for yield.

The system, involving two equations for growth prediction and one equation for yield, was tested on unrelated (data not used in the formulation of equations) weather and yield data for major spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. em. Thell.) productiona reas in Canada and the U.S.S.R. The close agreement of predicted yields with actual recorded yields indicates that the use of the system is a promising approach for predicting yields and evaluating the influence of temperature and precipitation on yields.

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