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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Biometry, Modeling & Statistics

Calibration and Testing of the FAO AquaCrop Model for Canola


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 103 No. 6, p. 1610-1618
    Received: May 16, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): kzeleke@csu.edu.au
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  1. Ketema Tilahun Zeleke *a,
  2. David Luckettb and
  3. Raymond Cowleyb
  1. a School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt Univ. and EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Wagga Wagga, Australia
    b EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (an alliance between Charles Sturt Univ. and Department of Primary Industries), Wagga Wagga, Australia. Received 16 May 2011


Water being a major limiting factor in crop production, prediction of the growth and yield response of crop to water is important. Field experiments were conducted in 2009 and 2010 at Wagga Wagga (Australia) to calibrate and validate a water productivity model AquaCrop for canola (Brassica napus L.). The calibrated model was able to accurately simulate evolution of canopy cover, biomass accumulation, and grain yield, with low values of root mean-square error and model efficiency, and Willmot's d statistics values close to unity. However, the model overestimated biomass and yield of canola grown in 2009 under a high moisture stress condition. Measured and simulated biomass of Skipton variety grown in 2010 to validate AquaCrop were 21.1 and 19.1 t ha−1, respectively. The grain yield was 3.18 and 3.11 t ha−1, respectively. In the drought year of 2009, measured and simulated biomass were 8.13 and 9.56 t ha−1, respectively, for the Bln3343-Co0401 variety used for validation. The grain yield was 1.75 and 1.96 t ha−1, respectively. Although AquaCrop was able to capture the trend, it tended to slightly overestimate soil water content during the season. To standardize the conservative parameters developed in this study, further tests are recommended under different environmental and management conditions.

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