Where to grow and what to grow in the future is the predictions of the Scientists. In view of the World wide increase in the population in the year 2050, to help feed the world, agriculture scientist across the Globe including the University of Florida. How to improve a crop modeling system which is also known as Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT). A five days Global Agri-Scientists met in the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, recently on 8th to 12th January  for developing software to develop ideas about how to improve a crop modeling system, which are at present 35 in number. To help advance the science of the software, a UF/IFAS professor of agricultural and biological engineering, said Gerrit Hoogenboom,  “We want to develop a mechanism to make it self-sustaining.”

The software package includes a database for weather, soil and crop experimental information. It also lets researchers add new data, compare simulated results with field observations and determine the economically and environmentally best management practices for specified soil and weather conditions. DSSAT lets anyone predict performance of crops growing in different environments, under various management conditions and using divergent genetic material. More than 14,000 people from more than 160 nations worldwide have requested the computer’s software so they can use its data and software to decide where, when and how to grow crops, Hoogenboom said.

Scientists also began developing algorithms for improved management practices such as slow-release fertilizers and irrigation, said Jones, who’s now working temporarily at the National Science Foundation. As an example of their work at the conference, researchers incorporated new models for crops like the cereal tef and cassava, which are typically grown in developing countries, said Jim Jones, a UF/IFAS professor of agricultural and biological engineering.

In addition to scientists, stakeholders using the modeling system include UF/IFAS Extension faculty, educators, consultants, industries and policy makers.
Jones’ history with the crop-modeling software goes back to 1983. The U.S. Agency for International Development – or USAID – asked Jones to contribute to a new initiative on the use of agricultural systems to determine how to transfer research results from one data set to others. Jones worked with soil scientists, agronomists, statisticians, plant pathologists and economists to develop concepts for integrating models that led to DSSAT.

When DSSAT was released in 1986, it had only four crops but now contains models for 35, and it’s used to study crops in developed and developing nations, Hoogenboom said.
One of the advantages of the computer model is that researchers do not have to conduct field trials on crops.

“We provide information to developing countries without conducting experiments,” Hoogenboom said.

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran



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