Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 14, 2010
Publication Date: September 15, 2010
Citation: Saseendran, S.A., Nielsen, D.C., Ma, L., Ahuja, L.R. 2010. Adapting CROPGRO for Simulating Spring Canola Growth with Both RZWQM2 and DSSAT 4.0. Agronomy Journal 102:1606-1621. Doi:10.2134/agronj2010.0277. Interpretive Summary: Canola has the potential to become a significant new crop in many regions. Its potential can be evaluated using cropping systems models, but a canola crop model is not available for use within either the RZWQM2 or DSSAT 4.0 cropping systems models. This paper describes the development of a canola model (CROPGRO-canola) from the existing CROPGRO-faba bean model. Results of validation tests using data from experiments conducted at Akron, CO are also reported. Grain yield and biomass were simulated well by the new model within both RZWQM2 and DSSAT 4.0 systems, indicating that CROPGRO-canola can be used successfully to estimate canola production potential across many differing soil and climate environments.
Technical Abstract: Currently, canola (Brassica napus L.) is gaining importance as a potential feedstock in biodiesel production industries, increasing the demand for canola production acreage. Agricultural system models that simulate canola growth and yield will help to assess the feasibility of canola production under various agroclimatic conditions. In this study, we adapted the CROPGRO model for simulation of spring canola in both RZWQM2 and DSSAT 4.0. Soil water, phenology, leaf area index, biomass, plant height, and grain yield data from irrigation experiments conducted in 2005 on a Weld silt loam soil in the semi-arid climate at Akron, Colorado were used for model parameterization and calibration. Similar data from 1993, 1994, and 2006 were used for validation. Species and cultivar parameters for canola were developed using data from literature or by calibrating the existing CROPGRO-faba bean (Vicia faba L.) parameters. Grain yields across various irrigation levels and seasons were simulated reasonably well by RZWQM2 with RMSE of 215 kg ha-1 and index of agreement (d) of 0.98. Seasonal biomass development was simulated with RMSEs between 341 and 903 kg ha-1, d between 0.55 and 0.99, and R2 between 0.85 and 0.98. The CROPGRO-canola parameters developed were also tested within the DSSAT 4.0 cropping systems model and found to produce results with similar accuracy.