Date of this Version
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 77 (2011) 118-125; doi:10.1016/j.compag.2011.04.003
Crop phenology is fundamental for understanding crop growth and development, and increasingly influences many agricultural management practices. Water deficits are one environmental factor that can influence crop phenology through shortening or lengthening the developmental phase, yet the phenological responses to water deficits have rarely been quantified. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of a decision support technology software tool, PhenologyMMS Vl.2, developed to simulate the phenology of various crops for varying levels of soil water. The program is intended to be simple to use, requires minimal information for calibration, and can be incorporated into other crop simulation models. It consists of a Java interface connected to FORTRAN science modules to simulate phenological responses. The complete developmental sequence of the shoot apex correlated with phenological events, and the response to soil water availability for winter and spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), winter and spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), corn (Zea mays L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), proso millet (Panicum milaceum L.), hay/foxtail millet [Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.]. and sunflower (Helianthus annus L.) were created based on experimental data and the literature. Model evaluation consisted of testing algorithms using "generic" default phenology parameters for wheat (i.e., no calibration for specific cultivars was used) for a variety of field experiments to predict developmental events. Results demonstrated that the program has general applicability for predicting crop phenology and can aid in crop management.