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CR 70:215-230 (2016)  -  DOI:

Relationships between the evaporative stress index and winter wheat and spring barley yield anomalies in the Czech Republic

Martha C. Anderson1,*, Christopher R. Hain2, Frantisek Jurecka3, Miroslav Trnka3, Petr Hlavinka3, Wayne Dulaney1, Jason A. Otkin4, David Johnson5, Feng Gao1

1Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
2Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
3Department of Agrosystems and Bioclimatology, Mendel University, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
4University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
5USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: There is a growing demand for timely, spatially distributed information regarding crop condition and water use to inform agricultural decision making and yield forecasting efforts. Thermal infrared remote sensing of land-surface temperature has proven valuable for mapping evapotranspiration (ET) and crop stress from field to global scales using energy balance models. This is because canopy temperature is strongly regulated by the transpiration flux, which is reduced under stress conditions. This study investigates the utility of an evaporative stress index (ESI), computed using the thermal-based Atmosphere–Land Exchange Inverse (ALEXI) surface energy balance model, for explaining yield variability over the Czech Republic for the period 2002-2014. ESI timeseries, representing standardized anomalies in the actual-to-reference ET ratio and an indicator of vegetation health, are compared with yield data collected for winter wheat and spring barley crops in 32 agricultural districts, comprising a range of climatic conditions within the Czech Republic. Correlations between ESI and yield anomalies vary with climatic region, with strongest correlations identified in the more drought-prone South Moravian districts and weaker relationships in the wetter highlands regions. In most regions, correlations with spring barley yield anomalies exceeded performance for winter wheat. For both crops, correlations peaked during the 1 to 2 mo period prior to the nominal harvest date. These results provide guidance for effective integration of remotely sensed moisture stress indicators within operational yield forecasting systems.

KEY WORDS: Evapotranspiration · Drought · Agriculture · Remote sensing · Crop yields · Czech Republic

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Cite this article as: Anderson MC, Hain CR, Jurecka F, Trnka M and others (2016) Relationships between the evaporative stress index and winter wheat and spring barley yield anomalies in the Czech Republic. Clim Res 70:215-230.

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