Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

26.06.2017

As farmers survey their fields this summer, several questions come to mind: How many plants germinated per acre? How does altering row spacing affect my yields? Does it make a difference if I plant my rows north to south or east to west? Now a computer model can answer these questions by comparing billions of virtual fields with different planting densities, row spacings, and orientations.

The University of Illinois and the Partner Institute for Computational Biology in Shanghai developed this computer model to predict the yield of different crop cultivars in a multitude of planting conditions. Published in BioEnergy-Research, the model depicts the growth of 3D plants, incorporating models of the biochemical and biophysical processes that underlie productivity.


Sugarcane planted in with traditional spacing (pictured here) is better for yields but may be worse for plants and soil quality.

Credit: Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Teaming up with the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, they used the model to address a question for sugarcane producers: How much yield might be sacrificed to take advantage of a possible conservation planting technique?

"Current sugarcane harvesters cut a single row at a time, which is time-consuming and leads to damage of the crop stands," said author Steve Long, Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. "This could be solved if the crop was planted in double rows with gaps between the double rows. But plants in double rows will shade each other more, causing a potential loss of profitability."

The model found that double-row spacing costs about 10% of productivity compared to traditional row spacing; however, this loss can be reduced to just 2% by choosing cultivars with more horizontal leaves planted in a north-south orientation.

"This model could be applied to other crops to predict optimal planting designs for specific environments," said Yu Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at Illinois who led the study. "It could also be used in reverse to predict the potential outcome for a field."

The authors predict this model will be especially useful when robotic planting becomes more commonplace, which will allow for many more planting permutations.

###

This research was supported by the IGB, Energy Biosciences Institute, Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The paper "Development of a Three-Dimensional Ray-Tracing Model of Sugarcane Canopy Photosynthesis and Its Application in Assessing Impacts of Varied Row Spacing" is published by BioEnergy-Research (DOI: 10.1007/s12155-017-9823-x). Co-authors include: Yu Wang, Qingfeng Song, Deepak Jaiswal, Amanda P. de Souza, and Xin-Guang Zhu.

The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) advances life sciences research through interdisciplinary collaborations within a state-of-the-art genomic research facility at the University of Illinois.

The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) is a public-private collaboration to help solve the global energy challenge.

Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) is an international research project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to engineer plants to more efficiently turn the sun's energy into food to sustainably increase worldwide food productivity.

Media Contact

Claire Benjamin
claire@illinois.edu
217-244-0941

 @IGBIllinois

http://www.igb.uiuc.edu 

Claire Benjamin | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: BioSciences Biology IGB Urbana-Champaign crop global energy challenge

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

nachricht Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Life-long implants – vision and state of the art

Fraunhofer Institutes FEP and IWU have merged their expertise in order to advance a new generation of medical implants.

Implants are routinely employed in hospitals and dental practices daily. They are technologically mature and offer support for people in many different ways....

Im Focus: Green Light for New 3D Printing Process

Premier at formnext: Additive Manufacturing of Copper Materials Using Selective Laser Melting with Green Light

An innovation in the field of additive manufacturing will make its debut from November 14–17 at this year’s formnext in Frankfurt, Germany: the Fraunhofer...

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Is the world on the brink of a computing revolution? – Quantum computing at the 5th HLF

31.08.2017 | Event News

Computers bridge the gap between theory and experiment in neuroscience

30.08.2017 | Event News

Save the Date! AKL’18 from May 2 - 4, 2018

29.08.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Chemo-boosting drug discovered for leukemia

01.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Biologists find new source for brain's development

01.09.2017 | Life Sciences

PolyU discovers a newly emerged superbug

01.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>