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Modelling wheat production from low-rainfall farming systems in northern Australia

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Robinson, J.B., Freebairn, D.M., Dimes, J.P., Dalal, R.C., Thomas, G.A. and Weston, E.J. (1999) Modelling wheat production from low-rainfall farming systems in northern Australia. Environmental International, 25 (6-7). pp. 861-870. ISSN 1873-6750

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0160-4120(99)00061-6


Wheat yields are highly variable in northern Australia because rainfall is variable. Economic benefits from applying nitrogen fertilisers are uncertain because yield responses depend on a good supply of soil moisture during the growing of the crop to provide a high potential yield. While an experiment in 1996 indicated that up to 90 kg N/ha of N fertiliser is profitable, it was not known whether this response is reliable or typical. A crop model and historical climate records (1960–1993) were used in this study to produce a long-term record of yield and grain protein responses to N fertilisers. Responses in 1996 are shown to be atypical due to the favourable conditions in that year. Under typical growing conditions, it is not economic to use N fertiliser. The simulations quantified the relationship between responses to fertiliser and the amount of soil moisture available at sowing. Applications of N fertilisers will be most profitable if used when measurements indicate that the plant-available soil moisture content before sowing is above average.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Science > Statistics > Simulation modelling
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Plant culture > Field crops > Wheat
Live Archive:14 Mar 2024 22:55
Last Modified:14 Mar 2024 22:55

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