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Converting simulated total dry matter to fresh marketable yield for field vegetables at a range of nitrogen supply levels

By Claas Nendel, Ulrich Schmutz, A. Venezia, F. Piro and C. (Clive) Rahn

Abstract

Simultaneous analysis of economic and environmental performance of horticultural crop production requires qualified assumptions on the effect of management options, and particularly of nitrogen (N) fertilisation, on the net returns of the farm. Dynamic soil-plant-environment simulation models for agro-ecosystems are frequently applied to predict crop yield, generally as dry matter per area, and the environmental impact of production. Economic analysis requires conversion of yields to fresh marketable weight, which is not easy to calculate for vegetables, since different species have different properties and special market requirements. Furthermore, the marketable part of many vegetables is dependent on N availability during growth, which may lead to complete crop failure under sub-optimal N supply in tightly calculated N fertiliser regimes or low-input systems. In this paper we present two methods for converting simulated total dry matter to marketable fresh matter yield for various vegetables and European growth conditions, taking into consideration the effect of N supply: (i) a regression based function for vegetables sold as bulk or bunching ware and (ii) a population approach for piecewise sold row crops. For both methods, to be used in the context of a dynamic simulation model, parameter values were compiled from a literature survey. Implemented in such a model, both algorithms were tested against experimental field data, yielding an Index of Agreement of 0.80 for the regression strategy and 0.90 for the population strategy. Furthermore, the population strategy was capable of reflecting rather well the effect of crop spacing on yield and the effect of N supply on product grading

Topics: HF, SB
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2362

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