Calibration and validation of a soil water simulation model (WaSim) for field grown Amaranthus cruentus

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of Agricultural Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria


A water simulation model (WaSim) to simulate the growth and development of Amaranthus cruentus as well as the components of water balance for a typical sandy-clay-loam soil of Akure has been described. Dry season experiments were carried between January and March of 2005 and 2006. Amaranthus seeds were established on the field and three irrigation water managements were imposed on the crop to determine its response to water deficit at its different phenological stages. Amaranthus growth and development, evapotranspiration (ET) and rooting depth were calibrated by fitting the most sensitive variables to obtain the corresponding model output. The model simulated crop growth and crop cover well, the coefficient of determination r2=0.9 and the difference between simulated and measured root depth is not significant at P<0.001. The actual evapotranspiration (AET) from the model prediction and the measured value gave a fairly high coefficient of correlation r=0.7 at P<0.001. The mean bias error (MBE) and the root mean square error of yield estimates between the measured and the model prediction are -0.4444 and 1.35 respectively at P < 0.001. The model was considered effective and appropriate for daily simulation of water balance, water requirement of crops and in climate effects on crop production.