Crop modelling based analysis of site-specific production limitations of winter oilseed rape in northern Germany

Hoffmann, M P and Jacobs, A and Whitbread, A M (2015) Crop modelling based analysis of site-specific production limitations of winter oilseed rape in northern Germany. Field Crops Research, 178. pp. 49-62. ISSN 0378-4290

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Winter oilseed rape production is typically characterised by low nitrogen (N) use efficiency. Defining site-specific fertiliser strategies based on field trials and crop modelling may help to improve the ecological efficiency of this crop. However, no model has been evaluated for winter oilseed rape that simulates the growth of the plant as limited by the interaction of water and N. In this study, the APSIM canola model which was originally developed for the temperate regions of Australia, was adapted for conditions in Germany and tested against measured data (total biomass, grain yield, leaf area index, N-uptake and soil mineral N) at three sites near Göttingen (northern Germany). In the second part of the study, the evaluated model was used in a simulation experiment to explore site-specific climate and soil related production limitations to match fertiliser rates to yield targets. Historical weather data from four sites across northern Germany and a fertile loamy soil with different rooting depths, implicating different plant available water capacities, were used. Model results showed large differences in yield (up to 1000 kg ha−1) and N-balance (>30 kg ha−1) for 200 kg N-fertiliser rate ha−1 between restricted (50 cm) and unrestricted rooting depths. Simulated yields for such high N-fertiliser rate were lower for sites with continental climate than for sites close to the coast, reflecting different rainfall patterns. Results indicate that water supply plays a critical role when maintaining high N use efficiency and reaching simultaneously grain yields of 4000 kg ha−1.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nitrogen balance, APSIM, Site-specific fertiliser strategy, Water stress, Rooting depth, Crop modelling, production limitations
Subjects: Others > Crop Modelling
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2018 09:32
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 09:37
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: We acknowledge the contribution of the technical staff fromthe Department of Crop Sciences (University of Göttingen). Fur-thermore, we thank Prof. Rolf Rauber and staff of the workinggroup ‘Agronomy’ and the staff of the ‘Institute of Sugar BeetResearch’ for provision of additional field trial data used for modeltesting. Weather data was kindly provided by the German weatherservice (DWD). John Hargreaves (CSIRO, Ecosystem Sciences)gave valuable insights about using APSIM. The German academicexchange service (DAAD) supported this research by providing atravel scholarship.
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