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Optimal On-Farm Multicrop Irrigation Scheduling With Limited Water Supply

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21857)
Authors:   P.D. Brown, T.A. Cochrane, T.D. Krom, D.J. Painter, J.C. Bright
Keywords:   Irrigation scheduling, Optimization, Computer simulation

An optimal stochastic multicrop irrigation scheduling algorithm is presented which allows for the inclusion of detailed crop-soil models and limits on seasonal water use and system capacity. Existing optimal schedulers generally use stochastic dynamic programming (SDP). The main limitation of SDP is the requirement of time independence of all parameters except soil moisture, thereby requiring oversimplistic crop models, limiting the practical use of these schedulers. To overcome this limitation the proposed scheduler uses a simulation model as the objective function with a few decision variables used to control the irrigation management. These decision variables are optimized with Simulated Annealing coupled with a custom population-based heuristic method. A case study compares the schedulers performance with known mathematically optimum solutions produced by SDP. The results indicate the proposed scheduler produces sub-optimal results for two or more crops. Further modifications of the objective function are required to better account for climate variability.

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