African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Development of a crop growth subroutine for the Watershed Resources Management (WRM) model

Ogbu K. N.
  • Ogbu K. N.
  • Department of Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.
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Mbajiorgu C. C.
  • Mbajiorgu C. C.
  • Department of Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
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Ugwuoke K.
  • Ugwuoke K.
  • Department of Crop Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.
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Ndulue E. L.
  • Ndulue E. L.
  • Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada.
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  •  Received: 05 December 2017
  •  Accepted: 02 January 2018
  •  Published: 25 January 2018


Vegetation has a marked effect on runoff and soil moisture and plays an important the hydrologic cycle. The Watershed Resources Management (WRM) model, a process-based, continuous, distributed parameter simulation model developed for hydrologic and soil erosion studies at the watershed scale lack a crop growth component. As such, this model assumes a constant parameter values for vegetation and hydraulic parameters throughout the duration of hydrologic simulation. A crop growth algorithm based on the original plant growth model used in the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was developed for coupling to the WRM model. The developed model was tested for yield simulations using data from a field plot within the Oyun River basin, Ilorin, Nigeria. Model prediction closely matched observed values with R2 of 0.9 for the years under study. This model will be incorporated into the WRM model in other to improve its representation of vegetation growth stages in a natural basin. This modification will further enhance its capability for accurate hydrologic and crop growth studies.

Key words: Runoff, roughness coefficient, photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), watershed resources management (WRM) model.