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Use of soil survey data for spatial modelling of potential wheat yield

Smettem, K.R.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2650-4429, Harper, R.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-0268-2917, Poulter, R. and Gilkes, R.J. (1997) Use of soil survey data for spatial modelling of potential wheat yield. In: Soils 97: Proceedings of the fourth triennial Western Australian Soil Science Conference, 30 September - 2 October, Geraldton, Western Australia 28a-28g.

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To date, estimates of potential wheat yield have been based on the concept of effective growing season rainfall. This approach has been used to provide growers with a 'target' that could be achieved with appropriate management. There is evidence to suggest that targets set by this approach are unrealistically high, particularly in Western Australia. Reasons for this include failure to account for water loss by deep drainage and failure to adequately partition water loss by soil evaporation from plant transpiration which drives the biomass production. Physically-based water balance models with appropriate plant growth functions can address these problems and provide a potential yield estimate based on transpired water. In this paper we present some examples of this approach and illustrate how soil survey data can be used to provide the necessary parameters for the water balance model. The method is used to provide a preliminary assessment of potential yield for the Lake Carlocup area near Jerramungup. We show in particular that the spatial pattern of transpiration and hence potential yield is not stationary from season to season. This observation has implications for interpretation of patterns observed in precision agriculture trials.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Publisher: Australian Society of Soil Science Inc. (WA Branch)
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