A decision support system for rainfed agricultural areas of Mexico

I. Sanchez-Cohen, G. Díaz-Padilla, M. Velasquez-Valle, D. C. Slack, P. Heilman, A. Pedroza-Sandoval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Rural inhabitants of arid lands constantly face a lack of sufficient water to fulfill their agricultural and household needs. In this situation they have to take quick and precise decisions about how to cope with the situation. Moreover, there is not readily available technical information to support their decisions regarding the course of action they should follow to handle the agro-climatic risk. In this paper a computer model (soil water balance model) is described to assess the impact on crops yields of rainfall shortages in dry lands in Mexico. The model is linked to a knowledge based database where a farmer may find readily available information to support cropping decisions. The knowledge base activates when the computed average crop yield is less than the 50% of the expected crop yield. The knowledge base provides information on risk, potential crops, and the geographical location (counties) where the crop may succeed. Also, it provides a technology to increase water productivity under limited availability situations. Further, the model can evaluate the impact of a climate change scenario (IPCC B2). Other inputs to the model being equal, the user may shift the model to run the climate change scenario and to compare the outputs of the model to assess the climate change impact on future crops yields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-188
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Knowledge base
  • Model
  • Risk
  • Water balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Horticulture


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