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

Anthony Webster1, John Hargreaves1, Jeff Daniells2 and Stewart Lindsay2

1Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

2 Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

pdfDownload the RRRD054 Research Outcomes Report2.46 MB

Executive Summary

The development of the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) model has enabled simulation of a large number of cropping systems, and investigation of a diverse range of management practices. Cropping system simulation is used to analyse cropping scenarios, giving an indication of productivity and environmental impacts without extensive in-field trials. Cropping simulation can be thought of as 'virtual experimentation'.

Currently, APSIM is used in the Reef Plan Paddock to Reef Program (P2R program) to determine the economic and water quality impacts of management practices in sugarcane. This information is used by economic and catchment modellers to develop Reef Plan report cards. APSIM is also used to inform NRM bodies on targeting of incentive funding. The development of a banana module for the APSIM modelling framework provides an ability for the P2R program to model the water quality and economic impact of management practices in the banana industry. The model was developed through a combination of using published and unpublished data, and field experimentation at South Johnstone Research Station. Data were used to calibrate the APSIM model for phenology, leaf area development, biomass accumulation and partitioning and for harvest. The model was validated against a dataset from a trial planted at South Johnstone Research Station, and closely predicted time to bunch emergence and time to harvest, biomass and nitrogen uptake. Dry matter allocation between plant parts overestimated fruit weight and underestimated stem weight.

The banana APSIM model does not predict nitrogen losses, but rather 'passes information to' the model processes that do simulate nitrogen losses (via denitrification, leaching and runoff). The banana model is able to closely simulate nitrogen uptake by banana plants, and therefore nitrogen losses would be able to be simulated.

The APSIM banana model is a research tool that can be incorporated to the P2R program over time to validate and improve reporting of pollutant generation from banana crops.