Assessing environment types for maize, soybean, and wheat in the United States as determined by spatio-temporal variation in drought and heat stress

Antoine Couëdel, Juan Ignacio Rattalino Edreira, Romulo Pisa Lollato, Sotirios Archontoulis, Victor Sadras, Patricio Grassini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The impact of agricultural technologies on crop yield is influenced by the environment type (ENVT) as determined by weather and soil. Understanding the correlation between the ENVT of the testing site in relation to the ENVT of the target production region is important for the evaluation and scaling out of agricultural technologies. Here we propose and apply the first explicit method to characterize ENVTs for major rainfed maize, soybean, and wheat producing regions in the United States. We combined a tested spatial framework, Technology Extrapolation Domain (TED), with crop modeling, long-term (30-y) daily weather records, and soil and management databases to calculate the frequency of ENVTs per crop for major harvested areas. Each ENVT was determined based on the intensity of drought and heat stress during key crop stages for yield determination. The ENVT repeatability was calculated based on the frequency of the most dominant ENVT in each TED. We found that inter-annual variation in drought and heat stress was larger than spatial variation. Our ENVTs explained 2x to 7x larger portion of the variance in actual yield compared to the existing TED framework that is based on long-term annual climate means and soil water storage. For maize and soybean, ca. 30% of their harvested area was located in TEDs with highly repeatable ENVTs (>66% of years). In contrast, only 15% of the wheat harvested area was located in TEDs with high ENVT repeatability. In comparison to the TED framework, the ENVTs defined here can help better capture G×E×M interactions and determine the environmental correlation between testing sites and target production environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108513
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Volume307
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Drought
  • Environment type
  • Heat stress
  • Maize
  • Repeatability
  • Soybean
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science

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