In the context of climate change, producing the same amount of food with less water has become a challenge all over the world. This is also true for the Lingot bean production in the area of Castelnaudary of southwest France where market competition with imported bean has made it crucial to achieve high yields to maintain production in the area. The use of an appropriate and robust crop model can help to identify crop management solutions to face such issues. We used SSM-legumes, a crop model generic to legume species, as well as field observations recorded over five years on eight farms of the Castelnaudary area to assess the effect of different irrigation scenarios on bean yield and water consumption. First, it was demonstrated that the SSM-legumes model is robust in simulating the development and growth of Lingot bean in non-stressed or moderately stressed conditions of this region regarding water and nutrient availability. Then, the use of the model to compare irrigation scenarios provided guidance on how to improve irrigation management for Lingot bean production. These results showed that farmers could achieve slightly higher yields with less water by basing irrigation decisions on the water content of the soil.
Marrou, H.; Sinclair, T.R.; Metral, R. Assessment of irrigation scenarios to improve performances of Lingot bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in southwest France. European Journal of Agronomy (2014) 59: 22-28. [DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2014.05.006]