Your location: Home

Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change


Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) developed under the International Consortium for Agricultural Systems Applications (ICASA)
Description

The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) is decision support system that encompasses process-based computer models that predict growth, development and yield as a function of local weather and soil conditions, crop management scenarios and genetic information.

The crops that are covered include grain cereals such as rice, wheat, maize, barley, sorghum, and millet, grain legumes, such as soybean, peanut, dry bean, chickpea, tuber crops, such as potato and cassava, cotton, sugarcane, vegetables, and various other species. DSSAT also includes a basic set of tools to prepare the input data, as well as application programs for seasonal, crop rotation and spatial analysis. The crop models not only predict crop yield, but also resource dynamics, such as for water, nitrogen and carbon, and environmental impact, such as nitrogen leaching. DSSAT includes an economic component that calculates gross margins based harvested yield and byproducts, the price of the harvested products, and input costs.

The models use daily weather data, soil profile information, and basic crop management data as input. Model outputs are normally compared with local experimental data in order to evaluate model performance and determine the genetic characteristics of local varieties.

Appropriate Use DSSAT can be used at a farm level to determine the impact of climate change on production and potential adaptation practices that should be developed for farmers. It can also be used at a regional level to determine the impact of climate change at different spatial scales, the main consideration being availability of accurate input data.
Scope DSSAT can be used for any region across the world, as long as the local input data are available. DSSAT has been distributed to over 2,000 users in more than 90 countries and has been tested in most regions of the world.
Key Output Key outputs are the impact of climate change on crop production, resource use and environmental pollution and management options for adaptation.
Key Input The crop simulation models require daily weather data, including maximum and minimum temperature, solar radiation, and precipitation, a description of the soil physical and chemical characteristics of the local, and crop management, including crop, variety, planting date, plant spacing, and inputs such as fertilizer and irrigation.
Ease of Use DSSAT has been developed in Windows environment and can be easily used after installation. For all crops considered (over 25 spp.), example data based on real experiments are provided. For local implementation, access to weather and soil data, crop management information and some crop measurements are needed.
Training Required For proper use, some training is required, especially with respect to the preparation of the input files, determination of the genetic coefficients and for evaluation with local data. Familiarity with the Windows operating system, spread sheet tools, and text editors is desirable.
Training Available The University of Georgia in collaboration with the International Consortium for Agricultural Systems Applications (ICASA) offers a two week training workshop on DSSAT every other year. In addition, training is often provided for groups of scientists in a country or region, depending on available resources and research interests.
Computer Requirements DSSAT runs on a Pentium 4 or higher computer with at least 521 MByte of memory and 0.5 GByte of hard disk space. The preferred operating system is Windows XP.
Documentation

Hoogenboom, G., J.W. Jones, P.W. Wilkens, C.H. Porter, W.D. Batchelor, L.A. Hunt, K.J. Boote, U. Singh, O. Uryasev, W.T. Bowen, A.J. Gijsman, A. du Toit, J.W. White, and G.Y. Tsuji. 2004. Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer Version 4.0 [CD-ROM]. University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI.

Tsuji, G. Y., G. Hoogenboom, and P. K. Thornton [Editors]. 1998. Understanding Options for Agricultural Production. Systems Approaches for Sustainable Agricultural Development. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands. ISBN 07923-4833-8. 400 pp.

Applications

The software has been used extensively in many different projects funded by US AID, US EPA, Asian Pacific Network, and other organizations to determine the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security. It was also used by numerous countries in the U.S. Country Studies Program, including Egypt, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Uruguay.

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Tools and documentation: International Consortium for Agricultural Systems Applications (ICASA), 2440 Campus Rd., Box 527, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA,
e-mail: icasa@icasa.net; website: http://www.icasa.net.


Technical assistance: Dr. Gerrit Hoogenboom, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, the University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia 30223, USA;
e-mail: gerrit@uga.edu.

Cost The cost of the software is $195+ shipping expenses.
The registration costs for attending a training workshop are $1,500. Additional costs include hotel and per diem, and travel to and from the workshop.
References

Alexandrov, V.A., and G. Hoogenboom. 2000. The impact of climate variability and change on major crops in Bulgaria. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 104(4):315-327.

Alexandrov, V.A., and G. Hoogenboom. 2000. Vulnerability and adaptation assessments of agricultural crops under climate change in the Southeastern USA. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 67:45-63.

Baethgen, W. E. 1997. Vulnerability of the agricultural sector of Latin America to climate change. Climate Research 9(1-7).
Hatch, U., S. Jagtap, J. Jones, and M. Lamb. 1999. Potential effects of climate change on agricultural, water use in the southeast US. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 35: 1551-1561.

Iglesias, A., Rosenzweig, C., and Pereira, D. 2000. Agricultural impacts of climate change in Spain: Developing tools for a spatial analysis. Global Environmental Change 10:69-80.

Jones, J.W., G. Hoogenboom, C.H. Porter, K.J. Boote, W.D. Batchelor, L.A. Hunt, P.W. Wilkens, U. Singh, A.J. Gijsman, and J.T. Ritchie. 2003. DSSAT Cropping System Model. European Journal of Agronomy 18:235-265.

Jones, P.G., and P.K. Thornton. 2003. The potential impacts of climate change on maize production in Africa and Latin America in 2055. Global Environmental Change13:51-59.

Mearns, L. O., T. Mavromatis, E. Tsvetsinskaya, C. Hays, and W. Easterling. 2001. Comparative responses of EPIC and CERES crop models to high and low spatial resolution climate change scenarios. Journal of Geophysical Research 104(d4): 6623-6646.

Tsuji, G. Y., G. Hoogenboom, and P. K. Thornton [eds.]. 1998. Understanding Options for Agricultural Production. Systems Approaches for Sustainable Agricultural Development. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands. ISBN 07923-4833-8. 400 pp.

White, J.W, G. Hoogenboom, and L.A. Hunt. 2005. A structured procedure for assessing how crop models respond to temperature. Agronomy Journal 96(2):426-439.


Ready for some Climate Change News?

Visit the
NEWSROOM