Symposium to address measurements important for water-limited agricultural systems

September 12, 2016–"Separate measurements of evaporation and transpiration [in agriculture] have been very challenging, but they are valuable to evaluate agronomic models and to test water-saving irrigation technologies," says soil scientist Ray Anderson, with the USDA-ARS. The measures would be helpful in testing new technologies to see if they reduce unproductive soil evaporation.

The "Partitioning of Evapotranspiration: Instrumentation and Simulation" symposium planned at the Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, will address this important topic. The symposium will be held Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 9:30 AM. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

"The application to eddy covariance data is crucial because that measurement is one of the most commonly used method to measure crop evapotranspiration, particularly at field scale," says Anderson. "Applying this technique to eddy covariance data that have already been collected may also create significant new datasets for agronomic modelers and irrigation researchers to test models and evaluate irrigation techniques across a large number of crops and locations."

Todd Skaggs, USDA-ARS, will discuss FLUXPART, a new free and open-source software application for implementing a partitioning algorithm developed by other researchers. "The software should permit greater adoption and testing of the partitioning procedure, and also facilitate reproducible research and open science goals," says Skaggs.

A case study applied to vineyards will be discussed by Joseph Alfieri, USDA-ARS. According to Alfieri, "collecting reliable continuous measurements at field scales remains problematic. This study presents the application of a recently developed correlation-based technique that overcomes these difficulties by leveraging high frequency data measured via eddy covariance." Their research found both diurnal patterns and seasonal trends.

For more information about the Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance 2016 meeting, visit Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 26, 2016 is required. Visit for registration information. For information about the "Partitioning of Evapotranspiration: Instrumentation and Simulation" symposium, visit

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, [email protected] to arrange an interview.


Media Contact

Susan V. Fisk
[email protected]