Irrigation Journal: Calculate Crop and Ethanol Yields

October 4, 2010 05:39 AM

Calculate Crop and Ethanol Yields and Irrigation Needs in Easy Steps

Estimating crop yields based on available water is easier for farmers who use a computer program developed by David Nielson, a USDA–Agricultural Research Service scientist at the Central Great Plains Research Station in Akron, Colo.

The MultiCalculator, available on CD or by download, uses three simple Excel spreadsheets to calculate nonirrigated crop yields in the semi-arid Central Plains in four steps.

You start by estimating how much available soil water your fields contain. A table on a different screen helps identify this amount, and provides multiplication factors for various soil types.

In the next three steps, you choose a crop and location, and estimate the percentage of average precipitation during the growing season. The computer then shows the yield you can expect. The program works for 18 different crops, including cereal grains, seed legumes, oilseeds and forages, and is derived from the data collected from ARS research at Akron, which shows a linear relationship between crop yields and seasonal water use.

The MultiCalculator also works in reverse. In five steps, you can choose a crop and target yield. The calculator then reports the amount of irrigation water you will need to achieve the desired yield.

In addition, the calculator can determine how many gallons of irrigation water you will need for each gallon of ethanol produced from the corn you grow.

To download the free MultiCalculator, go to

Pivot Control for Smartphones

FieldNET Mobile from Zimmatic allows growers to fully control and monitor their irrigation pivots through the convenience of their smartphone.

With full control and monitoring from anywhere, growers can be more efficient with their time and always know the status of their irrigation system.

The FieldNET Mobile can turn irrigation pivots on and off—a labor and time-saver during repair or maintenance. FieldNET Mobile’s graphical interface is compatible with iPhone, BlackBerry and Android technology.

FieldNET is a Web-based irrigation management system. With the addition of FieldNET Mobile, growers can view the current status of all their pivots in one list, receive system alerts, arrange pivots by predefined groups, view water usage reports and receive a history of pivot run-times.
FieldNET Mobile is available as an upgrade in all of the areas that are serviced by FieldNET.

For more information, go to

Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer