About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions



This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 85 No. 2, p. 396-399
    Received: May 21, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
Request Permissions


A Crop-Specific Drought Index for Corn: II. Application in Drought Monitoring and Assessment

  1. Steven J. Meyer ,
  2. Kenneth G. Hubbard and
  3. Donald A. Wilhite
  1. Dep. of Agricultural Meteorology, Inst. of Agric. and Natural Res., Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE. 68583-0728



How drought is perceived, and defined, determines the likely response of decision makers to a drought event. Since drought response is usually based on some type of assessment of the severity and duration of the event, a critical element of a drought response strategy lies in the incorporation of objective and reliable impact assessment techniques. However, a long-standing problem in responding to past droughts has been the lack of reliable techniques for monitoring the drought event and assessing probable impacts. This paper describes a new method to reliably monitor and assess weather's probable impact on corn (Zea mays L.) yields, on a crop reporting district (CRD) level, any time during the growing season. The 1990 growing season was used to demonstrate the ability of the crop-specific drought index (CSDI) to monitor and assess the condition of East Central Nebraska's corn crop every 10 days, starting 17 June, until a definitive projected CSDI value became established. A 3-wk hot and dry spell (24 mm of rainfall during the 3-wk period 28 June–17 July) that immediately preceded silking resulted in a 17 July CSDI assessment, based on the climatological record of the CRD, that projected yields to be only 63% of the maximum yield previously attained in this CRD. However, a substantial rainfall event during the week of silking alleviated the stressful conditions, and by the beginning of the early grain fill period (blister stage), a 6 August CSDI assessment projected the final CSDI value to within 3% of the actual CSDI (projected and actual yields were 86 and 83%, respectively, of the maximum yield previously attained in Nebraska's East Central CRD). The results of this study demonstrate that the CSDI can monitor and assess weather's impact on corn yields on a CRD level.

Published as Paper no. 9560, Journal Series, Nebraska Agricultural Research Division. The work reported here was conducted under Nebraska Agric. Res. Div. Project 27-005.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © .