Study of the modeling of rice cultivation under different irrigation systems and planning in the district of UsoCoello and analysis of the model applied to the region of Tolima in Colombia

  • Garré, S. (Copromotor)
  • Sofiane Sofiane Ouazaa (Promotor)
  • Joost Wellens (Promotor)

Activiteit: OverigeAndere soorten (prijzen, externe en andere activiteiten) - (Co)promotor masterthesis


The management of irrigation districts is becoming laborious in some regions of Colombia. In the
Tolima region, the bimodal climate is present in hot and semi-arid areas that are vulnerable due to
the increasing impact of climatic phenomena that cause an intensification of droughts, but also of
rainfall. The systems in place sometimes require more water than is needed, in a context of
increasing producer density. Agricultural yields, particularly for rice, which is very present in the
region, can sometimes decrease in an unprecedented way in the event of insufficient water supply.
Moreover, the experiments to be carried out to put an end to these problems are sometimes costly in
terms of time and money. In this study, trials of irrigation systems and scheduling were tried, and the
use of a calibrated crop simulation model to assess the possibility of predicting the behaviour of these
experiments on a variety of Oriza sativa L. from the region. The calibration shows simulations of the
evolution of plant parameters, such as canopy cover with an average RMSE of about 2.60% and
correlated for the first cycle and a much poorer simulation for the second cycle, but also a simulated
dry yield with an overall MBE of 0.621t/ha that is rather accurate and can differ from the observed
evolution of the different treatments to some extent. Further simulations were carried out to assess
the importance of the parameters on these outputs. The sensitivity analysis shows 7 parameters
explaining 95% of the total sensitivity of the evolution during a fictitious cycle of different soil water
content, biomass, canopy cover and dry yield. These results will allow future evaluation of irrigation
schedules in order to optimise yields according to local water consumption. Based on the results of
the sensitivity analysis, further analyses can be done in the region to facilitate and plan future
calibrations in a local environment. Thanks to the processed and modelled local climate data, it will
also be possible to carry out irrigation schedules according to extreme weather events.
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