Supporting an Emerging Industry: Developing a broccoli crop model to guide growers with sustainable decision-making

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2021: $16,479.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2024
Grant Recipient: Auburn University
Region: Southern
State: Alabama
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Andre da Silva
Auburn University


  • Vegetables: broccoli


  • Education and Training: decision support system

    Proposal abstract:

    Broccoli is considered a high-value specialty crop that has seen an increase in production in recent years within the southeastern U.S. Considered a cool crop, broccoli is very sensitive to the current scenario of climate change. In the southeastern U.S., the weather variability makes broccoli cultivars yield and time to maturity more difficult to predict, creating challenges to crop management practices for broccoli growers and affecting crop yield. Therefore, the development of a crop model, that would allow growers to predict crop development and yield based on weather conditions, is key to mitigate the challenges caused by climate change. The objective of this project is to develop an accessible agricultural decision tool (i.e., crop model) that will assist broccoli growers on decision making for crop management practices under the environmental conditions of the southeastern U.S. Field experiments will be conducted in 2021 and 2022 at the E.V. Smith Research and Extension Center of Auburn University in Shorter, AL. Field trials will allow for determination of genetic parameters for the most common broccoli cultivars grown in the southeastern U.S. Those parameters are required for the development of the proposed crop model. As a result of this project, the crop model will provide scientifically-based information for researchers and be used as a guide for growers to manage the broccoli industry that is emerging in the southeastern U.S.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objective of this project is to develop a crop model that simulates broccoli growth and yield for common cultivars grown in the southeastern U.S., and to evaluate the effects of the weather variability of subtropical conditions of southeastern U.S. on broccoli growth and yield by submitting the proposed crop model to different weather scenarios.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.