Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 9, issue 11
Biogeosciences, 9, 4487–4496, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-4487-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Nitrogen and global change

Biogeosciences, 9, 4487–4496, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-4487-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 14 Nov 2012

Research article | 14 Nov 2012

A model for simulating the timelines of field operations at a European scale for use in complex dynamic models

N. J. Hutchings1, G. J. Reinds2, A. Leip3, M. Wattenbach4,*, J. F. Bienkowski5, T. Dalgaard1, U. Dragosits6, J. L. Drouet7, P. Durand8, O. Maury7, and W. de Vries9 N. J. Hutchings et al.
  • 1Aarhus University, Department of Agroecology, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark
  • 2Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 3European Commission – DG Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
  • 4Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, 23 St. Machar Drive, Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, Scotland, UK
  • 5IAFE PAS, Poznan, Poland
  • 6CEH Edinburgh, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB, Scotland, UK
  • 7INRA-AgroParisTech, UMR EGC, Thiverval-Grignon, France
  • 8INRA, UMR 1069 Soil AgroHydrosystems spatialisation, 35000 Rennes, France
  • 9Environmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • *now at: Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre For Geosciences, Section 5.4 Hydrology, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Complex dynamic models of carbon and nitrogen are often used to investigate the consequences of climate change on agricultural production and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. These models require high temporal resolution input data regarding the timing of field operations. This paper describes the Timelines model, which predicts the timelines of key field operations across Europe. The evaluation of the model suggests that while for some crops a reasonable agreement was obtained in the prediction of the times of field operations, there were some very large differences which need to be corrected. Systematic variations in the date of harvesting and in the timing of the first application of N fertiliser to winter crops need to be corrected and the prediction of soil workability and trafficability might enable the prediction of ploughing and applications of solid manure in preparation for spring crops. The data concerning the thermal time thresholds for sowing and harvesting underlying the model should be updated and extended to a wider range of crops.

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