Crop models are highly useful for simulating crop and soil processes in response to variations in climate and crop management. However, well estimated crop genetic coefficients are required. So the purpose of this study is to calibrate and evaluate the performance of CERES-wheat model and to simulate the climate change impacts on phonological stages and grain yield of bread wheat (Tay and Senkegna varieties) in the study area. Observed climate data from National Meteorological Agency of Ethiopia from 1983 to 2015 and future climate from Climate Research Programme’s Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) database across 20 Global Circulation Models for Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP4.5 and 8.5) emission scenarios in the time horizon of early-term (2010-2039), mid-century (2040-2069) and end-century (2070-2100) were used. Crop and soil data were obtained from Adet Agricultural Research Center. Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT) crop model was employed. There was strong agreement between the simulated and observed values with R2 being 96, 79 and 79% for days to anthesis, grain yield and days to maturity, respectively for Tay wheat variety while 75% for days to anthesis, 92% for grain yield, and 75% for days to maturity of Senkegna bread wheat variety. On the other hand, during model validation, the goodness of fits (R2) was 86% for anthesis day, 70% for grain yield and 96% for physiological maturity days of Tay wheat variety. Similarly for Senkegna bread wheat variety, R2 was 89, 82 and 75% for anthesis day, grain yield, and physiological maturity days, respectively. The yield of both bread wheat varieties showed increase except in 2080s under RCP4.5 relative to the baseline. However, days to flowering and to maturity showed decreased in each time slice under both RCPs.
Key words: Calibration, validation, crop model, wheat, Ethiopia, East Africa.
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