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Article

Evaluation of FAO AquaCrop Model for Simulating Rainfed Maize Growth and Yields in Uganda

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Makerere University, Kampala, P.O. Box 7062, Uganda
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Agronomy 2018, 8(11), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8110238
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Water Management)
Uganda’s agriculture is mainly rainfed. While farmers make efforts to increase food output to respond to the demands of a fast growing population, they are vulnerable to losses attributed to fluctuating weather patterns due to the global climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to explore ways of improving production in rainfed agricultural systems to save farmers labour and input costs in situations where the grain harvest would be zero due to crop failure. In this study, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) AquaCrop model was evaluated for its predictability potential of maize growth and yields. The study was conducted at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) in Uganda for three seasons. Maize growth and yield data was collected during the following seasons: Season 1, September to December 2014; Season 2, March to July 2015; and Season 3, September to December 2015. The model was calibrated using season 1 canopy cover data. The relative errors of simulated canopy cover ranged from −0.3% to −13.58% for different stages of the crop growth. The deviation of the simulated final biomass from measured data for the three seasons ranged from −15.4% to 11.6%, while the deviation of the final yield ranged from −2.8 to 2.0. These results suggest that FAO AquaCrop can be used in the prediction of rainfed agricultural outputs, and hence, has greater potential to guide management practices towards increasing food production. View Full-Text
Keywords: AquaCrop model; maize; rainfed; simulation; Uganda AquaCrop model; maize; rainfed; simulation; Uganda
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mibulo, T.; Kiggundu, N. Evaluation of FAO AquaCrop Model for Simulating Rainfed Maize Growth and Yields in Uganda. Agronomy 2018, 8, 238. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8110238

AMA Style

Mibulo T, Kiggundu N. Evaluation of FAO AquaCrop Model for Simulating Rainfed Maize Growth and Yields in Uganda. Agronomy. 2018; 8(11):238. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8110238

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mibulo, Tadeo, and Nicholas Kiggundu. 2018. "Evaluation of FAO AquaCrop Model for Simulating Rainfed Maize Growth and Yields in Uganda" Agronomy 8, no. 11: 238. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8110238

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