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Simulation of legume-cereal systems using APSIM

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Probert, M.E., Carberry, P. S., McCown, R.L. and Turpin, J.E. (1998) Simulation of legume-cereal systems using APSIM. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 49 (3). pp. 317-328. ISSN 1836-0947


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/A97070


A major issue for the sustainability of cropping systems is the maintenance of soil fertility and especially the supply of nitrogen to cereal crops. Choice of appropriate management strategies, including the role of legumes, is problematic, especially where climatic variation is large. Simulation models provide the means of extrapolation from the site- and season-specific bounds of experimental data to permit scenario analyses that can explore alternative management options.
This paper is a status report on the capabilities of the APSIM modelling framework to simulate legume-cereal systems. APSIM deals with water and nitrogen constraints to crop growth and is well suited to the task of modelling whole systems involving crop rotations. The components that are not yet fully developed are modules for growing the legume crops and coupling these with the module describing the dynamics of soil organic matter to obtain sensible predictions of nitrogen supply to subsequent crops. Evidence is provided that those parts of the system that can be represented by current APSIM modules are predicted satisfactorily. The closest approach to a whole system that has been simulated to date is grass or legume (Stylosanthes hamata cv. Verano) leys followed by crops of maize or sorghum grown in experiments at Katherine, NT. Predictions of the yields of the leys and the cereal crops, especially the benefit from the legume leys to a second crop, were sufficiently close to measured yields to suggest that there are good prospects for developing useful models of other systems involving legumes and cereals. A simulation scenario exploring a chickpea-wheat system demonstrates how models can be used to analyse both productivity and sustainability aspects of the system.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:farming systems, modelling, nitrogen
Subjects:Science > Statistics > Simulation modelling
Plant culture > Field crops
Live Archive:22 Apr 2024 05:56
Last Modified:22 Apr 2024 05:56

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