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Online ISSN: 1757-1707
Associated Title(s): Global Change Biology
A biophysical model of sugarcane yield
Policy is dictating an expansion of bioenergy use resulting in an expansion of agricultural land use. Models can be used to simulate energy crop yield in these newly expanded areas.
Cuadra and coauthors developed a model to estimate changes in sugarcane physiology based on the interactions between the atmosphere and crops. Sugarcane is not only used in the production of sugar, but it is becoming increasingly important in the tropics where it is one of the main biofuel crops. Although models have previously been developed to predict yield for annual crops, they are not applicable to sugarcane because it is a perennial crop. In contrast to annual crops, sugarcane has variable planting and harvesting dates.
The authors evaluated the model by comparing their results with directly measured data from various regions in Australia, Brazil, and the US. By inputting data such as soil composition, precipitation, and temperature, the model was able to accurately predict sugarcane production over multiple years
This model will make it possible to simulate crop yield under current and future climate change scenarios. It can also be used to calculate the land required to produce a certain amount of fuel and determine where bioenergy crops should be grown for optimal production.
CUADRA, S. V., COSTA, M. H., KUCHARIK, C. J., DA ROCHA, H. R., TATSCH, J. D., INMAN-BAMBER, G., DA ROCHA, R. P., LEITE, C. C. and CABRAL, O. M. R. (2012), A biophysical model of Sugarcane growth. GCB Bioenergy, 4: 36–48. doi: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01105.x Read this paper.