Water availability, root depths and 2017 crop yields

Date
2017-12-01
Authors
Archontoulis, Sotirios
Licht, Mark
Castellano, Mike
Ordonez, Raziel
Iqbal, Javed
Martinez-Feria, Rafael
Edmonds, Pat
Wright, Emily
Baum, Mitch
Kessler, Ashlyn
Isaiah, Huber
Sassman, Aaron
Liebman, Matt
Helmers, Matt
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Abstract

During 2016 and 2017, June-July precipitation was below normal in many parts of Iowa creating midseason concerns about potential yield loss due to water stress. However, these concerns were not realized. In contrast, 2016 and 2017 crop yields over-performed yields obtained in many years with average of above average June-July precipitation. In Iowa, deep root systems, high soil water storage capacity, and shallow water tables are common explanations for high yields in years with below normal precipitation. How deep can roots grow? How much does groundwater contribute to the yields? To answer these questions and more, the Forecast and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS) project was established in 2015

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