Online Drought Indicators and Indices

Crop Specific Drought Index (CSDI)

 

Index name: Crop Specific Drought Index (CSDI).

Ease of use: Red.

Origins: Developed by Meyer et al. in the early 1990s at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to examine the impact of drought on actual crop yield.

Characteristics: By calculating a basic soil water balance, it takes into account the impact of drought, but identifies when the drought stress occurred within the development of the crop and what the overall impact to the final yield will be. PDSI and CMI can identify drought conditions affecting a crop, but do not indicate the likely impact on yields.

Input parameters: Daily maximum temperature, daily minimum temperature, precipitation, dewpoint temperature, wind speed and global solar radiation are the climatic inputs. Characteristics of the soil profile are also needed for model development. Yield and phenology data are required for proper correlations to growing days, crop progress and final yield.

Applications: Developed mainly to help identify the impact of drought on crop yields in the grain-producing regions of the United States, and is very specific to the type of crop being monitored.

Strengths: Very specific to a particular crop and based upon the development of the plant. The model takes into account when the drought stress occurred during plant growth and estimates the overall impact on yield.

Weaknesses: The inputs are quite complex and many locations will lack the required instruments or period of record needed to properly assess conditions.

Resources: The methodology and calculations are all described thoroughly in the literature, see references below.

References:

Meyer, S.J., K.G. Hubbard and D.A. Wilhite, 1993: A Crop-specific Drought Index for corn. I. Model development and validation. Agronomy Journal, 85: 388–395.

Meyer, S.J., K.G. Hubbard and D.A. Wilhite, 1993: A Crop-specific Drought Index for corn. II. Model development and validation. Agronomy Journal, 85: 396–399.

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