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Development of a generic crop model template in the cropping system model APSIM

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Wang, E., Robertson, M. J., Hammer, G. L., Carberry, P. S., Holzworth, D., Meinke, H., Chapman, S. C., Hargreaves, J. N. G., Huth, N. I. and McLean, G. (2002) Development of a generic crop model template in the cropping system model APSIM. European Journal of Agronomy, 18 (1). pp. 121-140. ISSN 1161-0301

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1161-0301(02)00100-4

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1161030102001004


The Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator, APSIM, is a cropping system modelling environment that simulates the dynamics of soil–plant-management interactions within a single crop or a cropping system. Adaptation of previously developed crop models has resulted in multiple crop modules in APSIM, which have low scientific transparency and code efficiency. A generic crop model template (GCROP) has been developed to capture unifying physiological principles across crops (plant types) and to provide modular and efficient code for crop modelling. It comprises a standard crop interface to the APSIM engine, a generic crop model structure, a crop process library, and well-structured crop parameter files. The process library contains the major science underpinning the crop models and incorporates generic routines based on physiological principles for growth and development processes that are common across crops. It allows APSIM to simulate different crops using the same set of computer code. The generic model structure and parameter files provide an easy way to test, modify, exchange and compare modelling approaches at process level without necessitating changes in the code. The standard interface generalises the model inputs and outputs, and utilises a standard protocol to communicate with other APSIM modules through the APSIM engine. The crop template serves as a convenient means to test new insights and compare approaches to component modelling, while maintaining a focus on predictive capability. This paper describes and discusses the scientific basis, the design, implementation and future development of the crop template in APSIM. On this basis, we argue that the combination of good software engineering with sound crop science can enhance the rate of advance in crop modelling.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Generic crop model Component modelling Crop template GCROP Modularity APSIM
Subjects:Science > Statistics > Simulation modelling
Science > Statistics > Statistical software
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science > Soil and crops. Soil-plant relationships. Soil productivity
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Live Archive:01 Feb 2022 00:25
Last Modified:01 Feb 2022 00:25

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