|dc.description.abstract||Multiple remote sensing techniques have been developed to identify crop water stress, but some methods may be difficult for farmers to apply. Unlike most techniques, shortwave vegetation indices can be calculated using satellite, aerial, or ground imagery from the green (525-600 nm), red (625-700 nm), and near infrared (750-900 nm) spectral bands. If vegetation indices can be used to monitor crop water stress, growers could use this information as a quick low-cost guideline for irrigation management, thus helping save water by preventing over irrigating. This study occurred in the 2013 growing season near Greeley, CO, where pressurized drip irrigation was used to irrigate twelve corn (Zea mays L.) treatments of varying water deficit. Multispectral data was collected and four different vegetation indices were evaluated: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Optimized Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (OSAVI), Green Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (GNDVI), and the Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index (WDRVI). The four vegetation indices were compared to corn water stress as indicated by the stress coefficient (Ks) and water deficit in the root zone, calculated by using a water balance that monitors crop evapotranspiration (ET), irrigation events, precipitation events, and deep percolation. ET for the water balance was calculated using two different methods for comparison purposes: (1) calculation of the stress coefficient (Ks) using FAO-56 standard procedures; (2) use of canopy temperature ratio (Tc ratio) of a stressed crop to a non-stressed crop to calculate Ks. It was found that obtaining Ks from Tc ratio is a viable option, and requires less data to obtain than Ks from FAO-56. In order to compare the indices to Ks, vegetation ratios were developed in the process of normalization. Vegetation ratios are defined as the non-stressed vegetation index divided by the stressed vegetation index. Results showed that vegetation ratios were sensitive to water stress as indicated by good R2 values (Nratio = 0.53, Gratio=0.46, Oratio=0.49) and low RMSE values (Nratio = 0.076, Gratio=0.062, Oratio=0.076) when compared to Ks. Therefore it can be concluded that corn spectral reflectance is sensitive to water stress. In order to use spectral reflectance to manage crop water stress an irrigation trigger point of 0.93 for the vegetation ratios was determined. These results were validated using data collected by a MSR5 multispectral sensor in an adjacent field (SWIIM Field). The results from the second field proved better than in the main field giving higher R2 values (Nratio = 0.66, Gratio = 0.63, Oratio = 0.66), and lower RMSE values (Nratio = 0.043, Gratio = 0.036, Oratio = 0.043) between Ks and the vegetation indices. SWIIM field further validated the results that spectral reflectance can be used to monitor corn water stress.