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Row configuration in rainfed cotton systems: modification of the OZCOT simulation model

Milroy, S.P.ORCID: 0000-0002-3889-7058, Bange, M.P. and Hearn, A.B. (2004) Row configuration in rainfed cotton systems: modification of the OZCOT simulation model. Agricultural Systems, 82 (1). pp. 1-16.

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Over the last 10 years, there has been a rapid expansion of rainfed cotton production in Australia. The majority of this area has used “skip row” configurations in which certain rows in the crop are not sown with the aim of providing a slowly available supply of soil moisture during periods of low rainfall. In the past, the OZCOT cotton crop simulation model has been used with long-term climate records to assess the impact of different management strategies for irrigated cotton production and to study the prospects for rainfed cotton production in the major cotton growing regions. In this paper, we present modifications made to OZCOT to better accommodate skip row. First, a simple procedure previously used to approximate light interception of row crops was assessed for its ability to enhance the capability of OZCOT to simulate skip row configurations and second, a modification to allow for the possibility that water in the skip is not as freely available as the water in the plant row was also explored. Including modifications to allow for differences in soil water extraction significantly improved predictions of crop yield for cotton in skip row configurations across a number of locations in the Eastern Australian cotton producing regions, but modifications to account for light interception in row configurations reduced the ability of the model to simulate skip row cotton yields. The modified model gave reasonable predictions of yield for solid planted and skip row crops. The performance was within the range of results published for solid planted crops over a range of nitrogen and irrigation treatments and planting dates. The model’s simulation of skip row yields when compared to solid planted crops grown under the same conditions, reflected the relationships seen in the measured data and those published in the industry literature.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier Masson
Copyright: © 2004 Elsevier Ltd.
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