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Software Reveals Critical Crop Growth Stages

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Thai rice

The U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher Greg McMaster has developed the Phenology Modular Modeling System (MMS), software that can predict the growth stages of plants and help farmers and ranchers with time-management tasks, such as when to apply pesticides, fertilizers, and water.

Phenology MMS provides common names of the growth stage to go with the scientific names, tells how to identify the stage, and when to expect each stage, based on weather reports and soil moisture. Farmers can find the right timing by answering questions such as "what is your planting date?" and choosing optimum, medium, dry, or planted in dust as a moisture-level description. The nearest weather station will provide access to weather data for running a simplified model of crop growth for each crop chosen.

Phenology MMS covers many crops, including corn, wheat, barley, sorghum, dry beans, sunflowers, and several millet varieties, and it will be continuously updated. The freely available software is designed to simulate crop growth stages for the entire growing season. Farmers will be able to use it independently or with existing crop growth models.

From U.S. Agricultural Research Service
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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