Simulating grain (Ng) and straw (Ns) nitrogen (N) concentration is of paramount importance in cropping systems simulation models. In this paper we present a simple model to partition N between grain and straw at harvest for barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), maize (Zea mays L.), and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor Moench). The principle of the model is to partition the aboveground N at physiologic maturity based on the relative availability of biomass and N to the grain. The inputs for the model are the harvest index (HI), representing the relative availability of biomass to the grain, and the aboveground N concentration (Nt) at harvest, representing the availability of N. The model has five parameters, of which four (the maximum and minimum achievable grain and straw N concentrations) are readily available; the parameter C requires calibration. The model was calibrated and tested for these four species without differentiating genotypes within species. The testing included diverse experiments in wheat; comparing observed and estimated Ng the relative RMSE ranged from 3 to 10% (five experiments) and was 31% in one experiment in which the estimated N g exceeded consistently the observed values. For barley, maize, and sorghum, the data availability for testing was limited, but the model performed well (relative RMSE values of 7, 7, and 18%, respectively). Therefore, the model proposed seems to be robust. It remains to be determined if the parameters and the method are useful to discriminate genotypic differences in Ng within a species and if the method can be applied to legume crops.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science