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Dynamic simulation of cutting fertilizing events in climate change conditions - new SUSALPS publication

Studies using process-based computer models to investigate grassland yields in the advancing climate change are subject to a variety of uncertainties. One of these is the timing of cutting and fertilization events, particularly due to the shift in the growing season towards earlier budbreak and thus the first cut in spring. For this study, a dynamic management approach was developed for the LandscapeDNDC model that automatically determines cutting and fertilization timing based on current biomass growth.

The study shows that this could result in 1-2 more cuts per year in the future, and that yield increases of up to +15% can be achieved with fertilizer management adapted to this, provided that these are not slowed down by extremely dry years. A simulation with static dates, which are not adapted to climate change, would not be able to depict this expected development in the future and would thus lead to very inaccurate yield projections.