Quantification of the impact of hydrology on agricultural production as a result of too dry, too wet or too saline conditions

M.J.D. Hack-ten Broeke*, J.G. Kroes, R.P. Bartholomeus, J.C. van Dam, A.J.W. de Wit, I. Supit, D.J.J. Walvoort, J. van Bakel, R. Ruijtenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


For calculating the effects of hydrological measures on agricultural production in the Netherlands a new comprehensive and climate proof method is being developed: WaterVision Agriculture (in Dutch: Waterwi-jzer Landbouw). End users have asked for a method that considers current and future climate, that can quantify the differences between years and also the effects of extreme weather events. Furthermore they would like a method that considers current farm management and that can distinguish three different causes of crop yield reduction: drought, saline conditions or too wet conditions causing oxygen shortage in the root zone.
WaterVision Agriculture is based on the hydrological simulation model SWAP and the crop growth model WOFOST. SWAP simulates water transport in the unsaturated zone using meteorological data, boundary condi-tions (like groundwater level or drainage) and soil parameters. WOFOST simulates crop growth as a function of meteorological conditions and crop parameters. Using the combination of these process-based models we have derived a meta-model, i.e. a set of easily applicable simplified relations for assessing crop growth as a function of soil type and groundwater level. These relations are based on multiple model runs for at least 72 soil units and the possible groundwater regimes in the Netherlands. So far, we parameterized the model for the crops silage maize and grassland. For the assessment, the soil characteristics (soil water retention and hydraulic conductivity) are very important input parameters for all soil layers of these 72 soil units. These 72 soil units cover all soils in the Netherlands. This paper describes (i) the setup and examples of application of the process-based model SWAP-WOFOST, (ii) the development of the simplified relations based on this model and (iii) how WaterVision Agriculture can be used by farmers, regional government, water boards and others to assess crop yield reduction as a function of groundwater characteristics or as a function of the salt concentration in the root zone for the various soil types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-402
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2016


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