Evaluation of DSSAT Soil-Water Balance Module Under Cropped and Bare Soil Conditions

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The performance of the soil water balance module (SWBM) in the models of DSSAT v3.5 was evaluated against soil moisture data measured in bare soil and dry bean plots, in Paraná, southern Brazil. Under bare soil, the SWBM showed a low performance to simulate soil moisture profiles due to inadequacies of the method used to calculate unsaturated soil water flux. Improved estimates were achieved by modifying the SWBM with the use of Darcy’s equation to simulate soil water flux as a function of soil water potential gradient between consecutive soil layers. When used to simulate water balance for the bean crop, the modified SWBM improved soil moisture estimation but underpredicted crop yield. Root water uptake data indicated that assumptions on the original method limited plant water extraction for the soil in the study area. This was corrected by replacing empirical coefficients with measured values of soil hydraulic conductivity at different depths.
Modelling, Beans
Faria, R.T. and W.T. Bowen. 2003. “Evaluation of DSSAT Soil-Water Balance Module Under Cropped and Bare Soil Conditions,” Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 46(4):489- 498.