Assessment of the second generation prairie agrometeorological model's performance for spring wheat on the Canadian Prairies

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Gervais, Mark D.
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To assess the accuracy of the second-generation Prairie Agrometeorological Model (PAM2nd) as an agrometeorological model for spring wheat on the Canadian Prairies, a study was conducted to validate the model using field measurements. Results from model validation indicated soil moisture was being overestimated at most sites during the second half of the growing season, while soil moisture was underestimated during periods that experienced consecutive days of rainfall. Modifications to the model were implemented to improve the model's ability to simulate soil moisture. Evapotranspiration estimates from PAM2nd and the FAO56 Penmen-Monteith method were compared to water balance methods. Both models produced estimates that fell within the range of water balance ET measurement error. The similarity in performance of both models to estimate ET compared to the water balance ET means the adoption of either model could be justified. However, PAM2nd would be more appropriate because it requires fewer, more commonly measured, surface weather parameters.
soil moisture, Canadian prairies, wheat, evapotranspiration, agricultural model