The pineapple Victoria (‘Queen’) is grown on Reunion Island under a large range of weather conditions where the elevation ranges from 50 to 900m a.s.l. and annual temperatures ranges from 19°C to 25°C in both humid and dry areas, resulting in variable fruit size, fruit quality, selling prices of products and N leaching. Our objective was to use a crop model to improve pineapple management practices according to the diversity of conditions on Reunion Island. Farm surveys resulted in the definition of eleven criteria describing the diversity of pineapple practices to characterize pineapple farm-type: ridges, tillage, planting density, level of N fertilization and number of N application, harvest date, irrigation, farm diversification, elevation, weather and location. Three types were then identified: 1) pineapples with sugarcane the main crop located at low elevation; 2) pineapples only located at high elevation; 3) diversified farms including pineapples located at low elevation. The SIMPIÑA model was used to identify a set of best practices for each farm-type, based on fruit quality (TSS/TA), agronomic (yield), economic (income at selling), and environmental criteria (N leaching). Producing large fruits seems to be the condition to increase agronomic and economic criteria, regarless pineapple farm-type because prices of products is higher for large fruit on local market. As a result, promising management sequences selected with the model underestimated the importance of selling small fruits at local market. Overall, a decrease of level of N fertilization could reduce N leaching without reducing yield and fruit quality. This study demonstrates that multi-criteria crop simulation models used with an optimization approach provide a framework suitable for designing new management strategies of pineapple production, while taking the type of pineapple farms into account.
Agricultural Systems – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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