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Simulating Growth and Development Processes of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): Adaptation and Evaluation of the CSM-CROPGRO Model

1
Department of Agronomy, Institute of Crop Science, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
2
Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120832
Received: 21 October 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 29 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
In recent years, the intra-annual yield variability of traditional food crops grown in Europe increased due to extreme weather events driven by climate change. The Andean crop quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), being well adapted to drought, salinity, and frost, is considered to be a promising new crop for Europe to cope with unfavorable environmental conditions. However, cultivation guidelines and cropping experiences are missing on a long-term scale. The adaptation of a mechanistic crop growth model will support the long-term evaluation of quinoa if grown under the diverse environmental conditions of Europe. The objective of this study was to adapt the process-based cropping system model (CSM) CROPGRO, which is included in the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). Therefore, species and genetic coefficients were calibrated using literature values and growth analysis data, including crop life cycle, leaf area index (LAI), specific leaf area (SLA), dry matter partitioning and nitrogen concentrations in different plant tissues, aboveground biomass, and yield components, of a sowing date experiment (covering two cultivars and four sowing dates) conducted in southwestern Germany in 2016. Model evaluation was performed on the crop life cycle, final aboveground biomass, and final grain yield for different sowing dates using an independent data set collected at the same site in 2017. The resulting base temperatures regarding photosynthetic, vegetative, and reproductive processes ranged between 1 and 10 °C, while the corresponding optimum temperatures were between 15 and 36 °C. On average, the crop life cycle was predicted with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 4.7 and 3.0 days in 2016 and 2017, respectively. In 2016, the mean predicted aboveground biomass during the growth cycle showed a d-index of 0.98 (RMSE = 858 kg ha−1). Furthermore, the LAI, SLA, and leaf nitrogen concentrations were simulated with a high accuracy, showing a mean RMSE of 0.29 (d-index = 0.94), 25 cm2 g−1 (d-index = 0.88), and 0.51% (d-index = 0.95). Evaluations on the grain yield and aboveground biomass across four sowing dates in 2017 suggested a good robustness of the new quinoa model. The mean predicted aboveground biomass and grain yield at harvest maturity were 6479 kg ha−1 (RMSE = 898.9 kg ha−1) and 3843 kg ha−1 (RMSE = 450.3 kg ha−1), respectively. Thus, the CSM-CROPGRO model can be used to evaluate the long-term suitability, as well as different management strategies of quinoa under European conditions. However, further development on the simulation of small seed sizes and under water or nitrogen-limited environments are needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chenopodium quinoa Willd.; crop modeling; CROPGRO; growth analysis; phenology; sowing date Chenopodium quinoa Willd.; crop modeling; CROPGRO; growth analysis; phenology; sowing date
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Präger, A.; Boote, K.J.; Munz, S.; Graeff-Hönninger, S. Simulating Growth and Development Processes of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.): Adaptation and Evaluation of the CSM-CROPGRO Model. Agronomy 2019, 9, 832.

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