CSF Water Deficit Calculator

Digital Tool

Author(s): N/A

Organization: Climate Smart Farming, Cornell University

Planning Step: Climate Risk

The CSF Water Deficit Calculator estimates soil water content within a crop’s effective root zone to inform farm managers about current and forecasted water deficits and determine the optimum frequency and duration of watering that is necessary to avoid plant stress. Crops respond to water deficits in predictable ways at specific, measurable levels of water stress. This tool takes advantage of these relationships to monitor and predict possible water deficit and associated plant stress. Water deficit probabilities over the next 30 days are calculated from historical data (2002-present). Using the current water deficit as model initialization together with historically observed weather during similar seasons, the water balance calculations are executed on historical data to estimate the probability of observing water deficit amounts in the future. This tool can be used for different soil textures (sand, loam, clay) and a wide variety of agronomic and specialty crops. Farmers can also use this tool to discover how irrigation may have alleviated plant stress, and increased profits, on your farm in the past. Do this by selecting a planting date from a previous year to see estimates of water deficits and plant stress throughout that entire growing season. Select irrigation dates to view the potential benefits of water applications during dry periods in that season.

Relevant Region(s): Northeast | Farm Scale: All | Farm Type: All | Markets: All