Crop response to El Nino-Southern Oscillation related weather variation to help farmers manage their crops

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Publication Details

Output type: Journal article

UM6P affiliated Publication?: Yes

Author list: Chapman, Ross; Cock, James; Samson, Marianne; Janetski, Noel; Janetski, Kate; Gusyana, Dadang; Dutta, Sudarshan; Oberthur, Thomas


Publication year: 2021

Journal: Sci Rep (2045-2322)

Journal acronym: SCI REP-UK

Volume number: 11

Issue number: 1

ISSN: 2045-2322

Languages: English (EN-GB)

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Although weather is a major driver of crop yield, many farmers don't know in advance how the weather will vary nor how their crops will respond. We hypothesized that where El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) drives weather patterns, and data on crop response to distinct management practices exists, it should be possible to map ENSO Oceanic Index (ENSO OI) patterns to crop management responses without precise weather data. Time series data on cacao farm yields in Sulawesi, Indonesia, with and without fertilizer, were used to provide proof-of-concept. A machine learning approach associated 75% of cacao yield variation with the ENSO patterns up to 8 and 24 months before harvest and predicted when fertilizer applications would be worthwhile. Thus, it's possible to relate average cacao crop performance and management response directly to ENSO patterns without weather data provided: (1) site specific data exist on crop performance over time with distinct management practices; and (2) the weather patterns are driven by ENSO OI. We believe that the principles established here can readily be applied to other crops, particularly when there's little data available on crop responses to management and weather. However, specific models will be required for each crop and every recommendation domain.


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Last updated on 2021-12-09 at 23:21