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The Bushland, Texas, Winter Wheat Datasets

posted on 2024-04-08, 21:38 authored by Steven EvettSteven Evett, Karen S. Copeland, Brice B. Ruthardt, Gary W. Marek, Paul D. Colaizzi, Terry A. Howell, David K. Brauer

This parent dataset (collection of datasets) describes the general organization of data in the datasets for each growing season (two-year period) when winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was grown for grain at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Laboratory (CPRL), Soil and Water Management Research Unit (SWMRU), Bushland, Texas (Lat. 35.186714°, Long. -102.094189°, elevation 1170 m above MSL). Winter wheat was grown on two large, precision weighing lysimeters, calibrated to NIST standards (Howell et al., 1995). Each lysimeter was in the center of a 4.44 ha square field on which wheat was also grown (Evett et al., 2000). The two fields were contiguous and arranged with one directly north of the other. See the resource titled "Geographic Coordinates, USDA, ARS, Bushland, Texas" for UTM geographic coordinates for field and lysimeter locations. Wheat was planted in Autumn and grown over the winter in 1989-1990, 1991-1992, and 1992-1993. Agronomic calendar for the each of the three growing seasons list by date the agronomic practices applied, severe weather, and activities (e.g., planting, thinning, fertilization, pesticide application, lysimeter maintenance, harvest) in and on lysimeters that could influence crop growth, water use, and lysimeter data. These include fertilizer and pesticide applications. Irrigation was by linear move sprinkler system equipped with pressure regulated low pressure sprays (mid-elevation spray application, MESA). Irrigations were managed to replenish soil water used by the crop on a weekly or more frequent basis as determined by soil profile water content readings made with a field-calibrated (Evett and Steiner, 1995) neutron probe from 0.10- to 2.4-m depth in the field. The lysimeters and fields were planted to the same plant density, row spacing, tillage depth (by hand on the lysimeters and by machine in the fields), and fertilizer and pesticide applications. The weighing lysimeters were used to measure relative soil water storage to 0.05 mm accuracy at 5-min intervals, and the 5-min change in soil water storage was used along with precipitation, dew and frost accumulation, and irrigation amounts to calculate crop evapotranspiration (ET), which is reported at 15-min intervals. Each lysimeter was equipped with a suite of instruments to sense wind speed, air temperature and humidity, radiant energy (incoming and reflected, typically both shortwave and longwave), surface temperature, soil heat flux, and soil temperature, all of which are reported at 15-min intervals. Instruments used changed from season to season, which is another reason that subsidiary datasets and data dictionaries for each season are required. The Bushland weighing lysimeter research program was described by Evett et al. (2016), and lysimeter design is described by Marek et al. (1988). Important conventions concerning the data-time correspondence, sign conventions, and terminology specific to the USDA ARS, Bushland, TX, field operations are given in the resource titled "Conventions for Bushland, TX, Weighing Lysimeter Datasets".

There are six datasets in this collection. Common symbols and abbreviations used in the datasets are defined in the resource titled, "Symbols and Abbreviations for Bushland, TX, Weighing Lysimeter Datasets". Datasets consist of Excel (xlsx) files. Each xlsx file contains an Introductory tab that explains the other tabs, lists the authors, describes conventions and symbols used and lists any instruments used. The remaining tabs in a file consist of dictionary and data tabs. The six datasets are as follows:

See the README for descriptions of each dataset.

The soil is a Pullman series fine, mixed, superactive, thermic Torrertic Paleustoll. Soil properties are given in the resource titled "Soil Properties for the Bushland, TX, Weighing Lysimeter Datasets". The land slope in the lysimeter fields is <0.3% and topography is flat. The mean annual precipitation is ~470 mm, the 20-year pan evaporation record indicates ~2,600 mm Class A pan evaporation per year, and winds are typically from the South and Southwest. The climate is semi-arid with ~70% (350 mm) of the annual precipitation occurring from May to September, during which period the pan evaporation averages ~1520 mm. These datasets originate from research aimed at determining crop water use (ET), crop coefficients for use in ET-based irrigation scheduling based on a reference ET, crop growth, yield, harvest index, and crop water productivity as affected by irrigation method, timing, amount (full or some degree of deficit), agronomic practices, cultivar, and weather. Prior publications have described the facilities and research methods (Evett et al., 2016), and have focused on winter wheat ET (Howell et al., 1995, 1997, 1998), and crop coefficients (Howell et al., 2006; Schneider and Howell, 1997, 2001) that have been used by ET networks for irrigation management. The data have utility for developing, calibrating, and testing simulation models of crop ET, growth, and yield (Evett et al., 1994; Kang et al., 2009), and have been used by several universities and for testing, and calibrating models of ET that use satellite and/or weather data.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: Geographic Coordinates of Experimental Assets, Weighing Lysimeter Experiments, USDA, ARS, Bushland, Texas. File Name: Geographic Coordinates, USDA, ARS, Bushland, Texas.xlsx. Resource Description: The file gives the UTM latitude and longitude of important experimental assets of the Bushland, Texas, USDA, ARS, Conservation & Production Research Laboratory (CPRL). Locations include weather stations [Soil and Water Management Research Unit (SWMRU) and CPRL], large weighing lysimeters, and corners of fields within which each lysimeter was centered. There were four fields designated NE, SE, NW, and SW, and a weighing lysimeter was centered in each field. The SWMRU weather station was adjacent to and immediately east of the NE and SE lysimeter fields.

  • Resource Title: Conventions for Bushland, TX, Weighing Lysimeter Datasets. File Name: Conventions for Bushland, TX, Weighing Lysimeter Datasets.xlsx. Resource Description: Descriptions of conventions and terminology used in the Bushland, TX, weighing lysimeter research program.

  • Resource Title: Symbols and Abbreviations for Bushland, TX, Weighing Lysimeter Datasets. File Name: Symbols and Abbreviations for Bushland, TX, Weighing Lysimeter Datasets.xlsx. Resource Description: Definitions of symbols and abbreviations used in the Bushland, TX, weighing lysimeter research datasets.

  • Resource Title: Soil Properties for the Bushland, TX, Weighing Lysimeter Datasets. File Name: Bushland_TX_soil_properties.xlsx. Resource Description: Soil properties useful for simulation modeling and for describing the soil are given for the Pullman soil series at the USDA, ARS, Conservation & Production Research Laboratory, Bushland, TX, USA. For each soil layer, soil horizon designation and texture according to USDA Soil Taxonomy, bulk density, porosity, water content at field capacity (33 kPa) and permanent wilting point (1500 kPa), percent sand, percent silt, percent clay, percent organic matter, pH, and van Genuchten-Mualem characteristic curve parameters describing the soil hydraulic properties are given. A separate table describes the soil horizon thicknesses, designations, and textures according to USDA Soil Taxonomy. Another table describes important aspects of the soil hydrologic and rooting behavior.

  • Resource Title: README - Bushland Texas Winter Wheat collection. File Name: README_Bushland_winter_wheat_collection.pdf. Resource Description: Descriptions of the datasets in the Bushland Texas Winter Wheat collection


USDA-ARS: 3090-13000-015-00D


Data contact name

Evett, Steven R.

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Intended use

These data may be used to test and calibrate models of winter wheat growth, water use (ET), "tall crop" reference ET, and yield, and many be used to develop crop coefficients for use with a reference evapotranspiration model to estimate crop water use. Care was taken to ensure that lysimeter ET data were representative of the 4.4 ha fields within which each lysimeter was centered. Therefore, satellite data with 100-m or smaller pixels may be suitable for use with the lysimeter data in testing and calibration of models based on satellite data.

Use limitations

The data pertain to the specific location, soil, climate, cultivar, and agronomic practices described in the data sets. Extrapolation to other climates, soils, cultivars, and practices should be done with care. Individual fields were square and somewhat larger than 210 m in width and length, so care should be used when combining satellite data with these data if satellite image pixels are large. Observations of air temperature and relative humidity, wind speed, and solar irradiance taken at the lysimeters should not be used as weather input for simulation models; weather data observed under standard conditions at the research weather station should be used as input to simulation models.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • irregular


  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Bushland, Texas

ISO Topic Category

  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • farming
  • geoscientificInformation

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

meteorological data; Agricultural Research Service; Texas; soil; water management; grasses; growing season; evapotranspiration; lysimeters; air temperature; relative humidity; wind speed; solar radiation; surface area; rain; evaporation; climate; simulation models; energy; crop yield; winter wheat; Triticum aestivum

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 211

Primary article PubAg Handle

Pending citation

  • No

Related material without URL

Howell, T.A., J.A. Tolk, S.R. Evett, K.S. Copeland and D.A. Dusek. 2007. Evapotranspiration of deficit irrigated sorghum and winter wheat. Pp. 223-239 In The Role of Irrigation and Drainage in a Sustainable Future, USCID Fourth International Conference on Irrigation and Drainage, Sacramento, California, October 3-6, 2007. U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, Denver, Colorado USA. Evett, S. R., Howell, T. A., Schneider, A. D., Copeland, K. S., and Dusek, D. A. 1994. Energy and water balance modeling of winter wheat. ASAE Paper No. 94-2022. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, MO.

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Evett, Steven R.; Copeland, Karen S.; Ruthardt, Brice B.; Marek, Gary W.; Colaizzi, Paul D.; Howell, Terry A., Sr.; Brauer, David K. (2022). The Bushland, Texas, Winter Wheat Datasets. Ag Data Commons.

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