Maize Model Improvement

The objective of the maize model improvement group is to update important physiological mechanisms underlying maize models to reflect current knowledge using the latest literature and the expertise of researchers from around the world. The intended outcome of the maize model improvement is an enhanced ability of maize models to simulate the yield response to the following abiotic stresses and genotypic variables:

  • Plant density
  • Nitrogen
  • Water stress
  • Relative maturity
  • Genetic improvement

Temperate maize vs. tropical maize
The maize model improvement group will discuss important mechanisms in meetings using video conferencing. Topics of the meetings will be determined by the maize model improvement group and will include the following:

  • Phenology
  • Leaf area development
  • Leaf/canopy photosynthesis
  • Dry matter distribution pre- and post-silking
  • N uptake and distribution
  • Root growth
  • Drought stress

The meetings are organized and led by Thijs Tollenaar, with advice from Ken Boote, AgMIP Crop Modeling Co-Coordinator. Currently 27 maize physiologists, breeders, agronomists, and modelers from the public and private sector are participating in this group. Prior to each meeting, pertinent literature and data sets are distributed among the active members of the group. One or more successful methodologies to model the physiological processes will be discussed during the meeting. It is our objective to test these alternative methodologies with diverse data sets that participants provide. In a subsequent meeting, the relative accuracy of the alternative methodologies to simulate the response will be compared.

Meetings have been held on maize phenology, and leaf area expansion. We have had an international group of speakers at each meeting.