Evaluation of the AquaCrop and CERES-Maize Models in Assessment of Soil Water Balance and Maize Yield

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc. Graduated, Water Eng. Dept., Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Water Eng. Dept., Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Research Professor, Agricultural Engineering Research Institute, Karaz, Iran

4 Associated Professor, Water Eng. Dept., Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Importance of fresh water in agriculture along with the essential demand of the growing population for food, indicates an extreme necessity of the optimum use of water. To this end, plant growth simulation models have been introduced in agricultural sciences to reach maximum yields in varying climates. Variations in the of developed models cause difficulties for the unprofessional users. The AquaCrop model, which is developed by FAO is one of the plant growth simulation models which tries to improve the facility of the model by reducing the number of input data. Throughout the present study, the AquaCrop model was calibrated and validated for maize in Karaj region by due attention to soil water balance. Moreover, the results were compared with CERES-Maize as a specific maize growth simulation model. The results indicated an appropriate function of both models in predicting yield and as well in soil water balance parameters. The figures 85-94 constituted the index of agreement for the AquaCrop model in soil water simulation as compared with the figures within 58-64 for CERES-Maize model. RMSE figures in yield simulation for the AquaCrop model stood within 40-20%, although for CERES-Maize they varied from 20 to 80%. Finally, and as regards the accuracy of the AquaCrop model, it is a recommendable one to farmers, and to planners in Karaj region.


Main Subjects

Abedinpour, M., Sarangi, A., Rajput, T. B. S., Singh, M., Pathak, H., and Ahmad, T. (2012). Performance evaluation of AquaCrop model for maize crop in a semi-arid environment. Agricultural Water Management, 110: 55-66.
Araya, A., Habtu, S., Hadgu, K.M., Kebede, A., and Dejene, T. (2010). Test of AquaCrop model in simulating biomass and yield of water deficient and irrigated barley (Hordeum vulgare). Agricultural Water Management, 97: 1838-1846.
Cavero, J., Farre, I., Dwbaeke, P., and Faci, J. M. (2000). Simulation of maize yield under water stress with Epic phase and CropWat models Agronomy Journal, 92:679-690.
Dokoohaki, H., Gheysari, M., Mousavi, S. F. and Mirlatifi, S. M. (2011). Estimation soil water content under deficit irrigation by using DSSAT. Water and Irrigation Management. 2(1),1-14.
Fraisse, C. W., Studduth, K. A., and Kitchen, N. R. (2001). Clibration of the CERES-Maize for simulation site-specific crop development and yield on clay pan soils. Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 17(4):547-556.
Gommes, R., 1983. Pocket computers in agrometeorology. FAO Plant production and protection paper N. 45, FAO, Rome, Italy.
Heidarinia, M., Naseri, A., Broumandnasab, S., and Azari, A. (2012). Assessing AquaCrop model application in irrigation management innorth of Khosetan_Safiabad. (CD) Proceeding of the 1st national water management in farm conference. May 30-31. Iran.(In Farsi)
Heng, L. K., Hsiao,T. C., Evett, S., Howell, T., and Steduto, P. (2009). Validating the FAO AquaCrop model for irrigated and water deficient field maize. Agronomy Journal, 101: 499-508.
Hsiao, T. C., Heng, L. K., Steduto, p., Rojas-Lara, B., and Fereres, E. (2009). AquaCrop_ the FAO crop model to simulate yield response to water :III. parameterization and testing for maize. Agronomy Journal, 101: 448-459.
Jamieson B.G.M, A.N., Hodgson, and Bernard, R.T.F. (1991). Phylogenetic trends and variation in the ultrastructure of the spermatozoa of sympatme species of South African patellid limpets (Archaeogastropoda, Mollusca) Invertebr. Reprod. Dev.20:137–146
Jones, J. W., Hoogenboom, G., Porter, C. H., Boote, K. J., Bachelor, W. D., Hunt, L. A., Wilkens, P. W., Singly, U., Gijsmon, A. J., and Ritchie, T. J. (2003). The DSSAT cropping system model. . European Journal of Agronomy, 18: 235-256.
Jones, J.W., Keating, B.A., and Porter, C.H. (2001). Approaches to modular model development. Agriculture System, 70:421–443.
Jones, J. W., Tsuji, G. Y., Hoogenboom, G., Hunt, L. A., Thornton, P. K., Wilkens, P. W., Imamura, D. T., Bowen, W. T., and Singah, U. (1998). Decision support system for agrotechnology transfer; DSSAT v3.Understanding options for Agricultural production. Kluwer academic publishers, Dordrecht Netherlands, 157-177.
Liu, j., Yang, Y., Zhang, X. Y., Drury, F. C., Reynolds, W. D., and Hoogenboom, G. (2013). Modeling crop yield, soil water content and soil temperature for Soybean-Maize rotation under conventional and conservation tillage system in Northeast China. Agriculture Water Management, 123:32-44.
Meban, v. j., Day, R. L., Hamlett, J. M., Watson J. E., and Roth, G. W. (2013). Validating the FAO AquaCrop model for rain fed maize in Pennsylvania. Agronomy Journal, 105: 419-427.
Nouna, B. B., Katerji, N., and Mastrorilli, M. (2003).
445 ... CERES-Maize و Aqua Crop ضیایی و همکاران: بررسی عملکرد مدل های
Using the CERES-Maize model in semi-arid Mediterranean environment: New modeling of leaf area and water stress function. European Journal of Agronomy, 19:115-123.
Porter, C., Jones, J.W., and Braga, R. (2000). An approach for modular crop model development. International Consortium for Agricultural Systems Applications, 2440 Campus Rd., 527 Honolulu, HI 96822, pp. 13. Available from http://www.icasanet.org/modular/index.html
Rabie, M., Mirlatifi, S. M., and Gheysari, M. (2012). Calibration and Evaluation of the CSM-CERES-Maize model for maize hybrid 704 single-cross in varamin. Journal of Water and Soil. 26(2):290-299. (In Farsi)
Roostaee, M., Sohrabi, T., and Massah bavani, A. (2011). Risk analysis and impact assessment of climate change on biomass (case study: Pakdasht). (CD) Proceeding of the 1st national Climatology and Adriculture water managment conference. November 22-23. Iran.(In Farsi)
Smedema, L.K., and Rycroft, D.W. (1983). Land drainage:Planning and design of agricultural drainage systems. Batsford Ltd., London. England.
Soltani, A. and Hoogenboom, G. (2007). Assessing crop management option with crop simulation Models on generated weather data. Field crop Pes, 103:198-207.
Stricevic, R., Djurovic, N. and Djurovic, Z. (2011). Drought classification in Northern Serbia based on SPI and statistical pattern recognition. Meteorological Application. 18: 60-69.
Willmott, C.J., Rykiel, C.M. and Mintz, Y. 1985. Climatology of terrestrial seasonal water circle. Journal of Climatology. 5:589-606.
Yihua, W., Sakamoto, C. M., and Botner, D. M. (1989). An application of CERES-Maize model to the North China plain. Agriculture and Forest Meteorology, 49:9-22.