IFDC Report, Volume 14, No. 2

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This report highlights the potential of computer simulation models in addressing various crop production challenges. The research, conducted by a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), in collaboration with other institutions, focuses on developing user-oriented models suitable for developing-country agriculture. These comprehensive Crop Evaluation Through Resource and Environment Synthesis (CERES) models integrate weather, soil properties, crop characteristics, and management practices to predict their impacts on agricultural production. The report emphasizes the applications of these models in risk analysis for strategic planning, within-year management decisions, large area yield forecasting, policy analysis, agroclimatic zoning, identification of fertilizer-responsive areas, and the definition of research needs. The models offer valuable insights into land suitability, fertilizer and pest management, irrigation, and yield forecasting, enabling policymakers and farmers to make informed decisions to minimize risks and increase crop yields. The authors stress the importance of designing user-oriented models that require minimal inputs, utilize readily available data, account for known phenomena, and accurately simulate field research findings. The report highlights the potential of crop models to test assumptions about economic inputs such as water, fertilizers, and pesticides, aiding farmers in making informed decisions. Additionally, the report acknowledges the limitations of these models and the need for site-specific testing to address their shortcomings.
Soil properties, Fertilizers, Pest management