Field-scale crop models are increasingly applied at spatio-temporal scales that range from regions to the globe and from decades up to 100 years. Sufficiently detailed data to capture the prevailing spatio-temporal heterogeneity in weather, soil, and management conditions as needed by crop models are rarely available. Effective sampling may overcome the problem of missing data but has rarely been investigated. In this study the effect of sampling weather data has been evaluated for simulating yields of winter wheat in a region in Germany over a 30-year period (1982–2011) using 12 process-based crop models. A stratified sampling was applied to compare the effect of different sizes of spatially sampled weather data (10, 30, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and full coverage of 34,078 sampling points) on simulated wheat yields. Stratified sampling was further compared with random sampling. Possible interactions between sample size and crop model were evaluated.

Areas of Focus: Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.