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A simple regional-scale model for forecasting sorghum yield across North-Eastern Australia

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Potgieter, A. B., Hammer, G. L., Doherty, A. and de Voil, P. (2005) A simple regional-scale model for forecasting sorghum yield across North-Eastern Australia. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 132 (1-2). pp. 143-153. ISSN 0168-1923

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2005.07.009


Sorghum is the main dryland summer crop in NE Australia and a number of agricultural businesses would benefit from an ability to forecast production likelihood at regional scale. In this study we sought to develop a simple agro-climatic modelling approach for predicting shire (statistical local area) sorghum yield. Actual shire yield data, available for the period 1983–1997 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, were used to train the model. Shire yield was related to a water stress index (SI) that was derived from the agro-climatic model. The model involved a simple fallow and crop water balance that was driven by climate data available at recording stations within each shire. Parameters defining the soil water holding capacity, maximum number of sowings (MXNS) in any year, planting rainfall requirement, and critical period for stress during the crop cycle were optimised as part of the model fitting procedure. Cross-validated correlations (CVR) ranged from 0.5 to 0.9 at shire scale. When aggregated to regional and national scales, 78–84% of the annual variation in sorghum yield was explained. The model was used to examine trends in sorghum productivity and the approach to using it in an operational forecasting system was outlined.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Live Archive:04 Feb 2024 23:01
Last Modified:04 Feb 2024 23:01

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