Brazil is the greatest world sugarcane producer, and the use of ethanol remark as a reference in terms of renewable energy user. In the last decade, the increasing demand for sugar and ethanol increase the crop expansion mainly in the west of São Paulo State and Midwest of Brazil, where irrigation is required (and sometimes essential) for the crop growth and production. Also, irrigated agriculture is increasingly pressured by limited water resources and the increasing demand for the use of springs. Thus, the improvement of irrigation management for extensive crops is a need. An important issue for the sugarcane industry is the trash management, which can modify the soil microbiology, carbon cycle, nitrogen, and crop evapotranspiration. This project aims to study the effect of trash on sugarcane evapotranspiration using different complementary methods to assess water used by crop in different system components, such as the leaves, plant stem and the whole field. The whole set of measures on crop development and growth will be taken for well characterizing the cultivar. Besides the water use evaluation, field data will be also used for checking and (eventually) improve process based crop model (mainly APSIM-Sugarcane) algorithms regarding crop water relations and plant growth and production. The calibrated model is assumed to be a tool for regional extrapolation of the results.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: