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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 97 No. 4, p. 1172-1182
    Received: Dec 16, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): liwang.ma@ars.usda.gov
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Development and Evaluation of the RZWQM-CROPGRO Hybrid Model for Soybean Production

  1. L. Ma *a,
  2. G. Hoogenboomb,
  3. L. R. Ahujaa,
  4. D. C. Nielsenc and
  5. J. C. Ascougha
  1. a Great Plains Syst. Res. Unit, USDA-ARS-NRRC, 2150 Cent. Ave., Bldg. D, Fort Collins, CO 80526
    b Dep. of Biol. and Agric. Eng., College of Agric. and Environ. Sci., The Univ. of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223
    c Central Great Plains Res. Stn., USDA-ARS, Northern Plains Area, 40335 Rd. GG, Akron, CO 80720


It is common for agricultural system modelers to enhance their models by learning from other models and incorporating the best state-of-the-science into their models. In this study, the CROPGRO plant growth model of Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT v3.5) was linked to the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) to provide RZWQM users an option of using CROPGRO. In the hybrid model, RZWQM supplied CROPGRO with daily soil water and N, soil temperature, and potential evapotranspiration (PET), whereas CROPGRO supplied RZWQM with daily water and N uptake and plant growth variables. The RZWQM-CROPGRO hybrid model was then evaluated against the original CROPGRO-soybean model using several data sets from the literature. These data sets represented various drought conditions. Results showed that the RZWQM-CROPGRO hybrid model simulated higher water stress than the original DSSAT-CROPGRO model because of higher PET simulated by RZWQM, especially under semiarid climate conditions. Therefore, it was necessary to make some adjustments in the hybrid model under dry and windy conditions, e.g., using a different lower limit of plant available water as DSSAT. The hybrid model with a more detailed soil water balance calculation only affected soil water prediction at the top 60-cm soil profile where soil water was more dynamic. This study demonstrated a successful linkage between RZWQM and CROPGRO, and the RZWQM-CROPGRO hybrid model provides users with a tool to conduct detailed simulation of crop production in addition to addressing water quality concerns. This study also demonstrated that, when building models from various sources, compatibility of the interacting modules should be ensured.

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