Policy management

The policy management is one very useful application of crop simulation models. The issues range from global (impacts of climate change on crops) to field level (effect of crop rotation on soil quality) issues. Thornton et al. (1997) showed that in Burkina Faso, crop simulation modeling using satellite and ground-based data could be used to estimate millet production for famine early warning which can allow policy makers the time they need to take appropriate steps to ameliorate the effects of global food shortages on vulnerable urban and rural populations. In Australia Meinke and Hammer (1997) found that when November-December SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) phase is positive, there is an 80% chance of exceeding average district yields. Conversely, in years when the November-December SOI phase is either negative or rapidly falling, there is only a 5% chance of exceeding average district yields, but a 95% chance of below average yields. This information allows the industry to adjust strategically for the expected volume of production.

Crop models can be used to understand the effects of climate change such as :

a) Consequences of elevated carbon-dioxide, and b) Changes in temperature and rainfall on crop development, growth and yield. Ultimately, the breeders can anticipate future requirements based on the climate change.

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