Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-144
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
25 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
The Effect of Soil Moisture Anomalies on Maize Yield in Germany
Michael Peichl, Stephan Thober, Volker Meyer, and Luis Samaniego UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
Abstract. Crop models routinely use meteorological variations to estimate crop yield. Soil moisture, however, is the primary source of water for plant growth. The aim of this study is to investigate the intra-seasonal predictability of soil moisture to estimate silage maize yield in Germany. It is also evaluated how approaches considering soil moisture perform compared to those using only meteorological variables. Silage maize is one of the most widely cultivated crops in Germany because it is used as a main biomass supplier for energy production in the course of the German Energy Transition. Reduced form fixed effect panel models are employed to investigate the relationships in this study. These models are estimated for each month of the growing season to gain insights into the time varying effects of soil moisture and meteorological variables. Temperature, precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration are used as meteorological variables. Soil moisture is transformed into anomalies which provide a measure for the inter-annual variation within each month. The main result of this study is that soil moisture anomalies have predictive skills which vary in magnitude and direction depending on the month. For instance, dry soil moisture anomalies in August and September reduce silage maize yield more than 10 % other factors being equal. On the contrary, dry anomalies in May increase crop yield up to 7 % because absolute soil water content is higher in May compared to August due to its seasonality. With respect to the meteorological terms, models using both temperature and precipitation have higher predictabilities than models using only one meteorological variable. Also, models employing only temperature exhibit elevated effects.

Citation: Peichl, M., Thober, S., Meyer, V., and Samaniego, L.: The Effect of Soil Moisture Anomalies on Maize Yield in Germany, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-144, in review, 2017.
Michael Peichl et al.
Michael Peichl et al.
Michael Peichl et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 482 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
394 70 18 482 3 15

Views and downloads (calculated since 25 Apr 2017)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 25 Apr 2017)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 482 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 479 with geography defined and 3 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1

Saved

Discussed

Latest update: 25 Jul 2017
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Crop yield is routinely derived from meteorological variables, most prominently temperature. The primary source of water for plant growth (soil moisture) is, however, neglected. This study investigates the predictability of maize yield by using either soil moisture or meteorological variables in Germany. Soil moisture effects dominate those of temperature and are time dependent. For example, comparatively wet conditions in August reduce crop yield, while dry conditions in May increase yield.
Crop yield is routinely derived from meteorological variables, most prominently temperature. The...
Share