A forage brassica simulation model using APSIM: Model calibration and validation across multiple environments

Watt, Lucinda J. and Bell, Lindsay W. and Pembleton, Keith G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1896-4516 (2022) A forage brassica simulation model using APSIM: Model calibration and validation across multiple environments. European Journal of Agronomy, 137:126517. pp. 1-14. ISSN 1161-0301

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Forage brassicas have historically been used in high rainfall/irrigated temperate livestock systems, but there is increasing interest in diverse forage brassicas in drier mixed crop-livestock farming systems. Computer-based modelling is an important decision support tool used in agriculture to explore the adaptability of crops to different climates and agronomic management practices, but existing modelling tools for forage brassicas are limited to temperate environments. We parameterised the APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems Simulator) model for four forage brassica genotypes, including three diverse forage rape cultivars and a raphanobrassica. The model was calibrated using two experiments with repeated measures of biomass components, nutritive value, and leaf and canopy development. We then tested the model extensively using data from a diverse set of environments within Australian and New Zealand (23 sites across four agro-climatic zones). Model predictions of biomass were good for all the genotypes (NSE > 0.60, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency; RMSE ~1.5 t DM/ha, root mean square error). Predictions of metabolisable energy yield were satisfactory for all genotypes (NSE 0.43–0.73; RMSE ~17.8 GJ ME/ha) but forage dry matter digestibility (DMD) were poorly predicted due to the small variation in observed data. Our robust and widely tested model can be confidently used to predict forage productivity of common and new forage brassicas across a wide range of production environments and agronomic management practices. This model will enable future work to develop a better understanding of the potential value of these important forage crops for livestock production systems.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agriculture and Environmental Science (1 Jan 2022 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2022 03:44
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2022 03:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: Canola; Forage productivity; Forage rape; Mixed farming systems; Raphanobrassica
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300205 Agricultural production systems simulation
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300403 Agronomy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2603 Grains and seeds > 260302 Canola
10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1005 Pasture, browse and fodder crops > 100504 Non-cereal crops (non-cereal crops for hay/silage/green feed)
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2022.126517
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/49660

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