Production Estimates Sustainability Agronomy Ecological Instrumentation

Crop production

  • How much biomass can I sustainably produce on my land?
  • Will the amount of biomass I produce be sufficient to fuel my furnace?
  • How will changing climatic conditions affect crop production on my farm?
  • Can I compare the production of two or three crops on my land before investing in one?

  • Using a physiologically based crop model we provide accurate estimates of crop production as well as how specific variations in climate will affect yields. The model predicts growth, leaf area and yields of miscanthus and other crops with remarkable precision.

    Typical model inputs include records of light, temperature and humidity; conditions of leaves in the canopy are calculated using radiative geometry, and physical principles of heat, CO2 and humidity exchange. Leaf CO2 uptake rate is predicted for C3 and C4 photosynthesis from steady-state biochemical models and coupled to a model of stomatal conductance. Growth, partitioning and allocation use empirically determined partitioning tables linked to phenological stages. Phenological stages are controlled by thermal time and day length.

    The model has been extensively parameterized for Miscanthus x giganteus allowing very close prediction of growth and production, from weather and soil data alone.

    The model closely simulates biomass productions at multiple locations; observed (open circles) and predicted (closed circles) Miscanthus x giganteus above ground dry biomass in multiple year and location experiments in Europe as a function of thermal time (from GCB Bioenergy, 2009, 1:282).

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