Simulation of seasonal stalk water content and fresh weight yield of sugarcane

De Liu, K.R. Helyar

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    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Stalk water content is an important variable for a sugarcane simulation model as sugar industries in many countries use cane yield and sucrose content on a wet mass basis for payment and yield reports. The prime objective was to develop a stalk water content module (SWCM) that can be incorporated into a sugarcane simulation model. SWCM starts from consideration of the dynamics of water concentration (', g water g'1 dry matter) along stalks and through seasons. The quantities of stalk water were modelled separately for the top and basal sections of the millable stalks. Field observations showed that the stalk water concentration (') declined from 7.8 to 11.8 in the top internodes to 1.6'2.9 g water g'1 dry matter in bottom internodes. In the basal section, ' ranged from 1.98 in winter to 2.83 g water g'1 stalk dry matter in summer. A two-parameter equation was used to model ' and resulted in a range of coefficients of determination from 0.8 to 0.97 for six varieties. The SWCM was developed to simulate both the effects of seasonal variation and the age of internodes on the quantity of stalk water. The module was incorporated into a process oriented model of sugarcane growth for validation against field observations in tropical and subtropical areas of Australia and Hawaii, USA. Comparison of observed yields with cane yield simulated by the model that included the SWCM, gave an average of R2 of 0.95, compared with the average of R2 of 0.97 for simulation of stalk dry matter. The average relative root mean squared error (RMSE) was 15.2% in simulation of cane yield and 15.1% for simulation of cane dry weight. The module can be readily incorporated into a model that simulates sugarcane dry matter so that commercial crop yield can be estimated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-73
    Number of pages15
    JournalField Crops Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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