The assessment and management of agricultural risk takes into account the main sources of annual variability such as weather conditions, the cost of agricultural inputs and the market price of subsequent outputs. To evaluate and quantify front-end environmental and agricultural input risks, IFDC’s systems modeling experts developed the Climate Information Analysis Simulation Tool (CIAST).
This tool is a fully functional Geographic Information System (GIS) that interfaces with the Crop System Model within the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). The integration of climate and geospatial soil databases allows the user a wide range of crop management options for simulation and analysis. To further aid in the decision-making process, CIAST can be combined with a seasonal analysis tool, optimizing annual crop management based on both price/cost structure information and projected climate variability.
With the addition of optional dynamic modules for phosphorus and potassium, the flexible CIAST has been used to test cropping system management in many at-risk agricultural areas around the world. In the last two years, the system has been utilized in the optimization of crop management in India, the southeastern U.S. and Africa, particularly in the nations of Morocco and Benin, with the goal of mitigating risk and maximizing profits.
Crop Modeling Workshops
The demand for crop modeling workshops around the world continues to increase as research groups and other organizations turn to systems analysis to minimize inherent agricultural risks and improve nutrient use efficiency. And as worldwide climate change becomes a greater influence on agricultural productivity, many researchers are focusing on the use of crop models to quantify these impacts and develop mitigation strategies for climate variability.
IFDC scientists and researchers regularly implement workshops to train scientists in crop modeling and other decision support tools. To learn more about opportunities to attend upcoming events, contact the IFDC Training and Workshop Coordination Unit, or click here to see the current training schedule.