Ag Data Commons
16 files

Weighing Lysimeter Data for The Bushland, Texas, Cotton Datasets

posted on 2024-04-04, 14:21 authored by Steven EvettSteven Evett, Steven R. Evett, Gary W. Marek, Karen S. Copeland, Terry A. Sr. Howell, Paul D. Colaizzi, David K. Brauer, Brice B. Ruthardt

This dataset consists of weighing lysimeter data for upland cotton [Gossypium hirsutum (L.)] grown for lint and seed at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory (CPRL), Soil and Water Management Research Unit (SWMRU), Bushland, Texas (Lat. 35.186714°, Long. -102.094189°, elevation 1170 m above MSL) in 2000 through 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2020, and 2021 on from one to four large, precision weighing lysimeters, each in the center of a 4.44 ha square field similarly cropped. In 2019, cotton was grown on four large, precision weighing lysimeters, each in the center of a 4.4-ha square field. The weighing lysimeters were used to measure mass, which was converted to relative soil water storage with 0.05 mm accuracy at 5-minute intervals, and the 5-minute change in soil water storage was used along with precipitation and irrigation amounts to calculate crop evapotranspiration (ET), which is reported at 15-minute intervals. Although a quality control process was used, the ET data in this dataset are considered raw data. Advanced algorithms for detection of precipitation, dew and frost were applied in a separate process to determine ET values that are reported in files in a dataset entitled "Evapotranspiration and Water Balance Data for The Bushland, Texas Cotton Datasets". Those files have "water-balance" in their names. Each lysimeter was equipped with a suite of instruments to sense wind speed, air temperature and relative humidity, components of the radiation balance (e.g., net radiation, incoming and reflected shortwave, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), incoming and reflected longwave, thermal infrared emitted by the plant/soil surface), soil heat flux, soil temperature, and soil volumetric water content at certain depths. Not all properties were always sensed in any one year; and instruments used changed from season to season, which are reasons that subsidiary datasets and data dictionaries for each season are required.
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), lack of irrigation (dryland production), agronomic practices, cultivar, and weather. Prior publications have focused on cotton ET, crop coefficients, crop water productivity, and simulation modeling of crop growth, water use, and yield. Crop coefficients have been used by ET networks. The data have utility for testing simulation models of crop ET, growth, and yield and have been used by both USDA and university researchers.

See the README file (README_Bushland_Cotton_Lys.txt) for descriptions of each data file. Descriptions are different for each year because experimental protocols changed yearly.


USDA-ARS: 3090-13000-016-00D


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 cotton growth, water use (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



  • irregular


  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


ISO Topic Category

  • geoscientificInformation
  • farming
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

lysimeters; Texas; cotton; data collection; Agricultural Research Service; soil water storage; soil water; irrigation rates; evapotranspiration; wind speed; air temperature; relative humidity; net radiation; photosynthetically active radiation; soil heat flux; soil temperature; volumetric water content; crop coefficient; irrigation scheduling; harvest index; plant cultural practices; cultivars; simulation models; satellites; meteorological data; deficit irrigation; solar radiation; microclimate

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

Public Access Level

  • Public