RRRD054 Development of a banana modelling capability to enhance reporting of Reef Rescue outcomes


Project Leader

Tony Webster






Go straight to the Publications From This Project

Project Overview

The APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems Simulator) model has a strong track record  Reef Plan activities. It was used in development of the Douglas Shire, Tully and Burdekin Water Quality Improvement Plans, and is currently used in the Reef Plan Paddock to Reef (P2R) program to determine economic and water quality impacts of management practises in sugarcane. This information is used by economic and catchment modellers to develop annual Reef Plan report cards.

This project is using existing information and new data from experimentation to develop and test a banana module for APSIM. Published and unpublished data from past experiments has been sourced, and a new experimental program has been established to fill gaps in the data required in banana model development. The data requirements includes crop phenology (timing of crop stages), biomass accumulation, leaf development, flowering, fruit growth and yield, water and nitrogen uptake, root growth and crop response to water and nutrient limitations.

Project Deliverables

  • A model that is able to estimate water quality (nitrogen and sediment) and economic impacts of management practices in the banana industry for the first time. This information will be available for catchment modelling to improve the industry coverage of the Reef Plan report cards.

PROGRESS UPDATES for this project are summarised here

Study Areas

Associated Reef Rescue R&D Research

  • This project has strong linkages with project RRRD049. The trials being run by RRRD049 are being used for model validation by this project.

Related External Research

Paddock to Reef Program:
  • Project output (the model) was provided to the P2R (APSIM) modelling team to report on banana production management practices. This modelling allows reporting of progress towards Reef Plan goals.
Other Projects:
  • The banana model will be used by other projects outside of Great Barrier Reef catchments, for example the African mixed farming systems project (CSIRO).
  • The banana model may be used to test different management practices for banana production in future projects not yet developed, both in Australia and elsewhere.

Publications From This Project

The Research Outcomes Report for RRRD054 is available for download from the Final Report page. This report should be cited as:

Webster, A.J., Hargreaves, J.N.G., Daniells, J.W. and Lindsay, S. (2014). Simulation of growth, development and nitrogen balance of banana in APSIM. Project RRRD054: Development of a banana modeling capability to enhance reporting of Reef Rescue outcomes. Report to the Reef Rescue Water Quality Research & Development Program. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns (26pp.).

The project results have been summarised at several Reef Rescue R&D forums, visit the Events page.