Estimation of evapotranspiration of forage corn supported with remote sensing and in situ measurements.

Arturo Reyes González, David Guadalupe Reta Sánchez, Juan Isidro Sánchez Duarte, Esmeralda Ochoa Martínez, Karla Rodríguez Hernández, Pablo Preciado Rangel


Irrigated agriculture requires better estimates of crop water demand. The aim of this study was to estimate the evapotranspiration (ETc) in forage corn through vegetation indices obtained in situ and estimated with remote sensing in the Comarca Lagunera, Mexico. The research was carried out in 2011 and 2012 in four 900 m2 plots irrigated with a subsurface drip irrigation system. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and crop coeff icient (Kc) during crop development were determined. The initial, maximum and f inal NDVI values were 0.13, 0.79 and 0.63 for both methods and in both cycles. The maximum Kc values were obtained 54 and 48 days after sowing (DDS) with GreenSeeker, and at 61 and 59 DDS with satellite images in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The results showed a good relationship between ETc estimated in situ and ETc estimated with remote sensing (r = 0.98) for both years. Although the variation of ETc using both methods was 1.2 mm day‑1, early in the cycle and 7.4 mm day-1 to flowering start-milky grains. Water needs of forage corn were estimated with similar precision using remote sensing and in situ measurements. Therefore, both methods can be used to improve irrigation scheduling and preserve water resources in agriculture.


crop coeff icient; GreenSeeker; satellite images; vegetation index

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