Characterization of soil water retention, e.g., water content at field capacity (FC) and permanent wilting point (PWP) over a landscape plays a key role in efficient utilization of available scarce water resources in dry land agriculture; however, direct measurement thereof for multiple locations in the field is not always feasible. Therefore, pedotransfer functions (PTFs) were developed to estimate soil water retention at FC and PWP for dryland soils of India. A soil database available for Arid Western India (N=370) was used to develop PTFs. The developed PTFs were tested in two independent datasets from arid regions of India (N=36) and an arid region of USA (N=1789). While testing these PTFs using independent datafrom India, root mean square error (RMSE) was found to be 2.65 and 1.08 for FC and PWP, respectively, whereas for most of the tested ‘established’ PTFs, the RMSE was > 3.41 and > 1.15, respectively. Performance of the developed PTFs from the independent dataset from USA was comparable with estimates derived from ‘established’ PTFs. For wide applicability of the developed PTFs, a user-friendly soil moisture calculator was developed. The PTFs developed in this study may be quite useful to farmers for scheduling irrigation water as per soil type.
Volume 129, 2020
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