Calibration and testing of the FAO AquaCrop Model for Canola

Ketema Zeleke, David Luckett, Raymond Cowley

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67 Citations (Scopus)


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 productivitymodel AquaCrop for canola (Brassica napus L.). Th e 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 effi ciency, and Willmot's d statisticsvalues close to unity. However, the model overestimated biomass and yield of canola grown in 2009 under a high moisture stresscondition. Measured and simulated biomass of Skipton variety grown in 2010 to validate AquaCrop were 21.1 and 19.1 t ha'1,respectively. Th e grain yield was 3.18 and 3.11 t ha'1, respectively. In the drought year of 2009, measured and simulated biomasswere 8.13 and 9.56 t ha'1, respectively, for the Bln3343-Co0401 variety used for validation. Th e grain yield was 1.75 and1.96 t ha'1, respectively. Although AquaCrop was able to capture the trend, it tended to slightly overestimate soil water contentduring the season. To standardize the conservative parameters developed in this study, further tests are recommended under differentenvironmental and management conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1610-1618
Number of pages9
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

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