SEARCA Holds Short Course on Crop Systems Modeling

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SEARCA conducted a Short Course on Cropping Systems Models and its Application for Climate Impact Assessment at the SEARCA Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. The entry-level course, which ran from 4-8 September 2017, described a practical approach for simulating crop production using the empirical and dynamical approach. 

Twenty-seven (27) individuals from the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam with diverse academic backgrounds (i.e., young lecturers, master and doctoral students) were selected to participate in the course. They were first introduced to the principles and approaches of crop modeling and its application for risk and impact assessments.

The participants learned how to utilize the empirical approach for estimating crop production. The effects of soil, weather, and management on crop production were studied using the dynamical approach. The course also covered the procedures for preparing the required data and running the crop models. In addition, the participants worked on exercises using the crop models. The empirical model was developed using a spreadsheet, while the hands-on assignments for dynamical approach used the DSSAT crop models. The discussions were emphasized on capabilities and limitations of each approach and some considerations for their use.

A field visit to the Zeigler Experiment Station of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was also conducted to understand how IRRI applies crop modeling to their experiments.

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Dr. Perdinan, a faculty member and a Climate Risk and Adaptation Specialist from the Department of Geophysics and Meteorology at Bogor Agricultural University served as Course Lecturer.

The course is partially-funded by the Food Security Center (FSC) based at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. SEARCA is a strategic partner of FSC, one of five EXCEED Centers funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

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