The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) is a deterministic crop model that is used by researchers worldwide. DSSAT incorporates growth/development models for different crops with vital variables that allow users to research and evaluate crop models for different purposes. Variables include a Crop module which can simulate different crops; a Soil module; a Weather module and an interface to create experimental treatments with multiple runs using different practices (i.e. irrigation, fertilization…).
While DSSAT was initially used in crop development and field-level management practices; there is interest in expanding DSSAT’s use to larger areas as well as “non-agronomist” focus. At the UA, Huntsville Earth Systems Science Center, the initial project included “what if” scenarios in a state-wide irrigation initiative. An ongoing project is using DSSAT in a spatial mode, utilizing near real-time weather data over the Southeast to evaluate corn crop development and health. And just getting started is another spatial model project to incorporate DSSAT’s irrigation demand into a watershed level hydrology model in an effort to evaluate the impact expanded irrigation would have on individual watersheds.
This presentation will provide an overview of DSSAT history; basic model operations (inputs/outputs) and updates on current projects.