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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2018, Vol. 17 Issue (05): 1181-1193    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61818-5
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A simulation of winter wheat crop responses to irrigation management using CERES-Wheat model in the North China Plain
ZHOU Li-li1, 2, LIAO Shu-hua2, WANG Zhi-min2, WANG Pu2, ZHANG Ying-hua2, YAN Hai-jun1, GAO Zhen2, SHEN Si2, LIANG Xiao-gui2, WANG Jia-hui2, ZHOU Shun-li2 
1 College of Water Resources & Civil Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, P.R.China
2 College of Agronomy & Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
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摘要  Received  2 August, 2017    Accepted  31 October, 2017
 © 2018, CAAS. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Abstract  To improve efficiency in the use of water resources in water-limited environments such as the North China Plain (NCP), where winter wheat is a major and groundwater-consuming crop, the application of water-saving irrigation strategies must be considered as a method for the sustainable development of water resources.  The initial objective of this study was to evaluate and validate the ability of the CERES-Wheat model simulation to predict the winter wheat grain yield, biomass yield and water use efficiency (WUE) responses to different irrigation management methods in the NCP.  The results from evaluation and validation analyses were compared to observed data from 8 field experiments, and the results indicated that the model can accurately predict these parameters.  The modified CERES-Wheat model was then used to simulate the development and growth of winter wheat under different irrigation treatments ranging from rainfed to four irrigation applications (full irrigation) using historical weather data from crop seasons over 33 years (1981–2014).  The data were classified into three types according to seasonal precipitation: <100 mm, 100–140 mm, and >140 mm.  Our results showed that the grain and biomass yield, harvest index (HI) and WUE responses to irrigation management were influenced by precipitation among years, whereby yield increased with higher precipitation.  Scenario simulation analysis also showed that two irrigation applications of 75 mm each at the jointing stage and anthesis stage (T3) resulted in the highest grain yield and WUE among the irrigation treatments.  Meanwhile, productivity in this treatment remained stable through different precipitation levels among years.  One irrigation at the jointing stage (T1) improved grain yield compared to the rainfed treatment and resulted in yield values near those of T3, especially when precipitation was higher.  These results indicate that T3 is the most suitable irrigation strategy under variable precipitation regimes for stable yield of winter wheat with maximum water savings in the NCP.  The application of one irrigation at the jointing stage may also serve as an alternative irrigation strategy for further reducing irrigation for sustainable water resources management in this area.
Keywords:  crop simulation modeling        deficit irrigation        precipitation level        CERES-Wheat model        winter wheat        North China Plain  
Received: 02 August 2017   Accepted: 04 May 2018

This work was funded by the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest of China (201203031, 201303133) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31071367).

Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence ZHOU Shun-li, Tel: +86-10-62732431, E-mail:; YAN Hai-jun, Tel: +86-10-62737196, E-mail:    
About author:  ZHOU Li-li, Tel: +86-10-62732557, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

ZHOU Li-li, LIAO Shu-hua, WANG Zhi-min, WANG Pu, ZHANG Ying-hua, YAN Hai-jun, GAO Zhen, SHEN Si, LIANG Xiao-gui, WANG Jia-hui, ZHOU Shun-li. 2018. A simulation of winter wheat crop responses to irrigation management using CERES-Wheat model in the North China Plain. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 17(05): 1181-1193.

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