Taking stock of crop models

Crop systems models can help researchers estimate the future of food security under climate scenarios. Many crop models are known to exist around the world - for different crops with varying complexities, yet it is not easy to find the right model for the right problem. To better understand the global extent of crop model development and to identify gaps in capabilities, HarvestChoice participated in an initiative to conduct a rapid meta-analysis of crop models using on-line survey to the crop modeling community in the world.

Which Model Should I Use…?
Crop models help researchers to simulate the future of food security under climate change scenarios. Many crop models exist around the world, but they are often developed independently and not widely known or used. Some models have been developed to represent a single crop or part of a crop production process in detail, whilst others have the capability to model multiple crops in complex rotations and under various management, weather, and soil conditions.

To better understand the global extent of crop model development, and to identify gaps in capabilities, and to determine the geographical coverage and range of crops represented, the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and IFPRI/HarvestChoice were commissioned by the CGIAR Agriculture and Food Security Challenge Program (CCAFS) to conduct a rapid meta-analysis of crop models for climate change and food security researches using on-line survey to the crop modeling community in the world. For about 1-month (September 2010), 141 respondents from 74 countries completed the survey, covering more than 100 crop models.

For a list of the report’s key findings, visit the HarvestChoice Labs blog, which is the source of this blog post. Click here for the complete report.