Multiple Crop Model Training Program

Multiple Crop Model Training

With partial support of DFID/UKaid, ICRISAT/CCAFS, and CIMMYT/CSISA, AgMIP is conducting a training course to enable researchers to utilize multiple crop models and AgMIP software tools to conduct Regional Integrated Assessments of crop production and food security. With a focus on experienced crop modelers who are advancing AgMIP Protocol-driven research in South Asia (SA) and Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), the training will expand modelers’ knowledge base to include DSSAT or APSIM methods. Additionally, the sessions will train a small number of experienced crop modelers as Trainers capable of providing instruction and/or guidance to other researchers in SA and SSA.

The purpose of the course is to provide training on use of multiple crop models for AgMIP Regional Integrated Assessments. Specifically, training will include sessions on both DSSAT and APSIM as well as AgMIP IT tools that facilitate the use of multiple crop models for simulating crop production variations associated with farm survey data.

Regional crop modeling team members will: 1) gain understanding of different crop models and how they perform in their own local experiment and farm survey situations, 2) considerably advance their progress on reliably calibrating multiple crop models for region-specific integrated assessments, 3) partially complete crop model simulations needed by economists for use in the TOA-MD economic model, and 4) increase capacity in the region for additional multi crop model training and integrated assessments.

Principal Trainers:
DSSAT – Ken Boote (University of Florida) and Gerrit Hoogenboom (Washington State University)
APSIM – John Hargreaves (CSIRO) and N. Subash (ICAR)
AgMIP Tools – Cheryl Porter (University of Florida)

These courses are designed for contributors to AgMIP regional research projects in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. They are developed for participants who are already familiar with use of crop models and who are involved in AgMIP crop modeling analyses for regional integrated assessments. We are specifically planning on a smaller number of participants in the first program in Nepal with a larger number at ICRISAT as noted here. The intended participants to receive training in Nepal are from Nepal and Pakistan, with some exceptions. Intended participants in ICRISAT are from all of the AgMIP teams in South Asia as well as Sub Saharan Africa, excluding those from Nepal and Pakistan. Other experienced crop modelers who are interested in using AgMIP protocols in research may also apply.

Background of participants:
The training workshops are targeting highly motivated scientists who are proficient in using computers, software packages and at least one crop model for data analysis and with good knowledge of agronomy. Experience in statistical and economic tools for climate-induced risk assessment or crop modeling is considered an added advantage in the selection of participants. Specifically, participants:

  1. Must be skilled in the use of computers for data analysis
  2. Must have experience with either DSSAT, APSIM, INFOCROP or other crop models (training during the course will be on the crop model they are not experienced with)
  3. Must plan to come with the sentinel site and farm yield survey data listed below and plan to work with that data during this training course and share results with their AgMIP team.
  4. Must bring a portable laptop computer with up-to-date software, data, and virus protection installed.
  5. Exceptions to these requirements will require approval by course instructors.

Data that participants are required to prepare and send 2 weeks prior to the training course:

Data for Calibrating Genetic Coefficients: Data from sentinel site experiments is required for calibrating genetic coefficients for desired crop cultivar. Each crop modeler will come with this data to allow calibrating their cultivars.  The data should already be running for a given model prior to arrival so we know the experimental data and inputs are complete.

  1. Weather for the sentinel site and years that match the crop data
  2. Soil water holding traits for the fields in the experiments
  3. Management inputs (sowing dates, fertilizer N, irrigation, etc.)
  4. Observed anthesis and maturity (at minimum).
  5. Observed final total biomass and grain yield

Data for farm survey yields (see Handbook materials).
  1. Weather for the survey years, plus 20-30 years for a weather station nearest the survey site.
  2. Soils description with latitude-longitude coordinates for farms, if possible.
  3. Management inputs (from survey).
  4. Reported grain yield (and other crop information if available).

Expenses and Tuition: 
The course fee for selected participants in the 5-day course is $1300 per trainee.

  • AgMIP will to provide its project participants air travel (if arranged by AgMIP), airport-to-venue transport, lodging, meals, and a modest per diem.

  • Any admitted participants who are not part of an AgMIP project team must arrange and cover their own air travel and incidental expenses in addition to paying the course fee, but will be provided airport-to-venue transport, lodging and meals.

  • Other conditions:
    All selected participants are responsible for securing all required travel documents in a timely and cost efficient manner (e.g., visa, health certifications, if required, travel insurance, etc.).  All participants agree to comply with all requirements for participation.  AgMIP reserves the right to restrict the number of participants.

    To Apply:
    If you are interested in attending a training session please apply here.

    Questions?  Contact:  Dileepkumar – SA Coordinator, also coordinating logistics and knowledge capture for these training workshops.

    Job – SSA Coordinator.

    Carolyn – International Coordinator.