Bassu, Simona and Asseng, Senthold and Motzo, Rosella and Giunta, Francesco (2009) Optimising sowing date of durum wheat in a variable Mediterranean environment. Field Crops Research, Vol. 111 (1-2), p. 109-118. ISSN 0378-4290. Article.
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Sowing date and cultivar choice influence yield of wheat in Mediterranean climatic regions where crop production is constrained by waterlogging in winter on clay soils and terminal water deficit in spring. Because of the large seasonal variability in Mediterranean environments, a combination of experimental data and simulation results were used to investigate optimal sowing date and cultivar choice. The Agricultural Production Systems SIMulator (APSIM), which had been rigorously tested for bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Mediterranean-type environments, was further tested with measured durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var. durum) experimental data from the Mediterranean basin. The model reproduced most of the observed seasonal variability of grain yields but tended to overestimate, particularly some of the observed low grain yields. Comparing the model with detailed field experiments from two seasons and three durum wheat cultivars over a wide range of sowing dates highlighted the importance of reproducing the measured phenology and in particularly the observed anthesis dates for the general performance of the model. The use of a specific phyllochron for each sowing date instead of a single value per cultivar regardless of sowing date, as in APSIM, improved anthesis predictions and other aspects of the model.
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