Evaluation of DSSAT-MANIHOT-Cassava model to determine potential irrigation benefits for cassava in Jamaica

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Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important food crop, especially in developing countries, because of its resilience and ability to grow in conditions generally inhospitable for other crops. However, tropical crops like cassava are not as frequently modeled compared with crops from temperate locations.

The objective of this research was to calibrate the CSM-MANIHOT-Cassava model of the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer, DSSAT beta v4.8 and use the model to evaluate the potential benefits of irrigation on yield. We established two field trials with two water treatments (rainfed and irrigated) and four cultivars that had not been studied previously. We simulated in-season biomass and end-of-season yield, evaluating the model performance with different statistical measures. There was good agreement between simulated and measured values; the best results showed a deviation of 9.7%, normalized RMSE of 18%, and d-index of 0.98 for biomass, with corresponding values of 11, 24, and 0.98, respectively, for yield. Good simulations of yield correlated with accurate simulations for leaf area index and harvest index.

The varieties showed differential responses to irrigation, suggesting that there are diverse levels of drought tolerance even within the same environmental conditions

Rankine, D.; Cohen, J.; Murray, F.; Moreno-Cadena, P.; Hoogenboom, G.; Campbell, J.; Taylor, M.; Stephenson, T. 

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