skip to main content


Title: Observation-based sowing dates and cultivars significantly affect yield and irrigation for some crops in the Community Land Model (CLM5)

Abstract. Farmers around the world time the planting of their crops to optimize growing season conditions and choose varieties that grow slowly enough to take advantage of the entire growing season while minimizing the risk of late-season kill. As climate changes, these strategies will be an important component of agricultural adaptation. Thus, it is critical that the global models used to project crop productivity under future conditions are able to realistically simulate growing season timing. This is especially important for climate- and hydrosphere-coupled crop models, where the intra-annual timing of crop growth and management affects regional weather and water availability. We have improved the crop module of the Community Land Model (CLM) to allow the use of externally specified crop planting dates and maturity requirements. In this way, CLM can use alternative algorithms for future crop calendars that are potentially more accurate and/or flexible than the built-in methods. Using observation-derived planting and maturity inputs reduces bias in the mean simulated global yield of sugarcane and cotton but increases bias for corn, spring wheat, and especially rice. These inputs also reduce simulated global irrigation demand by 15 %, much of which is associated with particular regions of corn and rice cultivation. Finally, we discuss how our results suggest areas for improvement in CLM and, potentially, similar crop models.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
2017113 2028541
NSF-PAR ID:
10512312
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
European Geosciences Union
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geoscientific Model Development
Volume:
16
Issue:
24
ISSN:
1991-9603
Page Range / eLocation ID:
7253 to 7273
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
crop modeling CLMcrop CLM5
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Agricultural expansion and management have greatly increased global food production and altered Earth's climate by changing physical and biogeochemical properties of terrestrial ecosystems. Few Earth system models represent agricultural management practices due to the complexity of the interactions between human decisions and biological processes on global scales. We describe the new capabilities of representing crop distributions and management in the Community Land Model (CLM) Version 5, which includes time‐varying spatial distributions of major crop types and their management through fertilization and irrigation, and temperature‐based phenological triggers. Including active crop management increases peak growing season gross primary productivity (GPP), increases the amplitude of Northern Hemisphere net ecosystem exchange, and changes seasonal and annual patterns of latent and sensible heat fluxes. The CLM5 crop model simulates the global observed historical trend of crop yields with relative fidelity from 1850 to 1990. Cropland expansion was important for increasing crop production, especially during the first century of the simulations, while fertilization and irrigation were important for increasing yields from 1950 onward. From 1990 to present day, observed crop production continued to increase while CLM5 production levels off, likely because intensification practices are not represented in the model. Specifically, CLM does not currently include increasing planting density, crop breeding and genetic modification, representations of tillage, or other management practices that may also affect crop‐climate and crop‐carbon cycle interactions and alter trends in yields. These results highlight the importance of including crop management in Earth system models, particularly as global data sets for parameterization and evaluation become more readily available.

     
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Accurate phenological information is essential for monitoring crop development, predicting crop yield, and enhancing resilience to cope with climate change. This study employed a curve-change-based dynamic threshold approach on NDVI (Normalized Differential Vegetation Index) time series to detect the planting and harvesting dates for corn and soybean in Kentucky, a typical climatic transition zone, from 2000 to 2018. We compared satellite-based estimates with ground observations and performed trend analyses of crop phenological stages over the study period to analyze their relationships with climate change and crop yields. Our results showed that corn and soybean planting dates were delayed by 0.01 and 0.07 days/year, respectively. Corn harvesting dates were also delayed at a rate of 0.67 days/year, while advanced soybean harvesting occurred at a rate of 0.05 days/year. The growing season length has increased considerably at a rate of 0.66 days/year for corn and was shortened by 0.12 days/year for soybean. Sensitivity analysis showed that planting dates were more sensitive to the early season temperature, while harvesting dates were significantly correlated with temperature over the entire growing season. In terms of the changing climatic factors, only the increased summer precipitation was statistically related to the delayed corn harvesting dates in Kentucky. Further analysis showed that the increased corn yield was significantly correlated with the delayed harvesting dates (1.37 Bu/acre per day) and extended growing season length (1.67 Bu/acre per day). Our results suggested that seasonal climate change (e.g., summer precipitation) was the main factor influencing crop phenological trends, particularly corn harvesting in Kentucky over the study period. We also highlighted the critical role of changing crop phenology in constraining crop production, which needs further efforts for optimizing crop management practices. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Uttar Pradesh, with a population of 237 million, is the largest agrarian state in India, located in the Indo‐Gangetic plains. Rice cultivation is widespread across all districts of Uttar Pradesh, which have varying climate regimes, irrigation infrastructures, crop management practices, and farm sizes. The state is characterized by different agroecological zones (AEZs) with semi‐arid to sub‐humid climates with significant variability in monsoon rainfall. In this study, the impact of climate change on Kharif‐season rice is estimated using crop‐climate scenarios in Uttar Pradesh. A process‐based Crop Simulation Model, Crop Estimation through Resource and Environment Synthesis‐Rice, was simulated with bias‐corrected and downscaled climate data for historical (1995–2014) and three future periods (the 2030s, 2050s, and 2090s) for two mitigation pathways (SSP2‐4.5 and SSP5‐8.5) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6. Phenology, irrigation amount, crop evapotranspiration, yield, and water use efficiency were evaluated and assessed for all AEZs. Based on the ensemble of 16 climate models, rainfed rice yield increased in the AEZs of western Uttar Pradesh due to increased rainfall, while in eastern Uttar Pradesh yield decreased, under both shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs). Irrigated rice yield decreased in all AEZs under both SSPs due to an increase in temperature and a decrease in the length of the growing period, with reductions of up to 20% by the 2090s. Irrigation requirements decreased from the 2030s to the 2090s due to increased rainfall and decreased crop evapotranspiration. Despite the projected increase in rainfed yield, the overall rice yield is expected to decrease in the future under both SSPs.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We used the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) to predict and explain maize and soybean yields, phenology, and soil water and nitrogen (N) dynamics during the growing season in Iowa, USA. Historical, current and forecasted weather data were used to drive simulations, which were released in public four weeks after planting. In this paper, we (1) describe the methodology used to perform forecasts; (2) evaluate model prediction accuracy against data collected from 10 locations over four years; and (3) identify inputs that are key in forecasting yields and soil N dynamics. We found that the predicted median yield at planting was a very good indicator of end‐of‐season yields (relative root mean square error [RRMSE] of ∼20%). For reference, the prediction at maturity, when all the weather was known, had a RRMSE of 14%. The good prediction at planting time was explained by the existence of shallow water tables, which decreased model sensitivity to unknown summer precipitation by 50–64%. Model initial conditions and management information accounted for one‐fourth of the variation in maize yield. End of season model evaluations indicated that the model simulated well crop phenology (R= 0.88), root depth (R= 0.83), biomass production (R= 0.93), grain yield (R= 0.90), plant N uptake (R= 0.87), soil moisture (R= 0.42), soil temperature (R= 0.93), soil nitrate (R= 0.77), and water table depth (R= 0.41). We concluded that model set‐up by the user (e.g. inclusion of water table), initial conditions, and early season measurements are very important for accurate predictions of soil water, N and crop yields in this environment.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Many studies have estimated the adverse effects of climate change on crop yields, however, this literature almost universally assumes a constant geographic distribution of crops in the future. Movement of growing areas to limit exposure to adverse climate conditions has been discussed as a theoretical adaptive response but has not previously been quantified or demonstrated at a global scale. Here, we assess how changes in rainfed crop area have already mediated growing season temperature trends for rainfed maize, wheat, rice, and soybean using spatially-explicit climate and crop area data from 1973 to 2012. Our results suggest that the most damaging impacts of warming on rainfed maize, wheat, and rice have been substantially moderated by the migration of these crops over time and the expansion of irrigation. However, continued migration may incur substantial environmental costs and will depend on socio-economic and political factors in addition to land suitability and climate.

     
    more » « less