GPFARM: Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management
Decision Support System (GPFARM DSS)
Great Plains System Research Unit (GPSR) Fort Collins, CO; division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Northern Plains Area, (USDA-ARS, NPA)
Colorado State University, Agricultural Economics Dept. Fort Collins, CO
GPFARM is a simulation model computer application. It incorporates state of the art knowledge in agronomy, animal science, economics, weed science and risk management into a user-friendly, decision support tool. Producers, agricultural consultants, action agencies and scientists can utilize GPFARM to test alternative management strategies that may in turn lead to sustainable agriculture, a reduction in pollution, or maximum economic return. GPFARM Express contains default projects to allow users to quickly set up their operations.
GPFARM Decision Support System (DSS) Objective:
Develop a resource management decision support system (DSS) that is capable of simulating and analyzing 10-50 year farm/ranch production plans with respect to water, nutrient, and pest management along with their associated economic and environmental risks.
GPFARM DSS Benefits:
GPFARM integrates state of the art agricultural science knowledge with associated economic and environmental analysis into a whole-enterprise evaluation. Results from the DSS provide agricultural consultants, producers, and action agencies with information for making management decisions that promote sustainable agriculture.
GPFARM provides feedback concerning the most effective technology and assists in determining areas requiring further research and development. This is an evolutionary process that ties research and technology transfer closely together.
GPFARM serves to bring scientists from different disciplines together with producers and consultants to solve complex problems in agriculture. Products within GPFARM:
- A user-friendly, farm/ranch simulation model that produces output for various agricultural production systems and management options with respect to economics, environmental impact and sustainability.
- A detailed whole farm/ranch economic analysis package (PAL Budgeting Program).
- A web based, encyclopedic agricultural information system.
- A stand-alone weed management model (WISDEM).
- Tools to analyze weed pressure effects and N fertilizer requirements.
- Analysis tools for results including output data visualization, indices and the Multiple
- Criterion Decision Making model.
- Spatial data visualization tools.
+ What's New?
Production economics and environmental impacts are accounted for in order to aid the producer in assessing the effects of alternate farm/ranch management strategies before they are implemented. This is achieved via:
- Soil-crop-animal simulation modules are used to assess environmental impacts. Biological, chemical, and physical processes are simulated including nutrient cycling, uptake, and leaching; surface and subsurface pesticide transport; evapotranspiration; runoff; deep percolation; infiltration; plant growth; and soil erosion by water.
- Microsoft Access relational databases are used for soils, land use, climate, management options, and model parameters.
- Farm enterprise budgeting procedures are used to determine farm profitability in terms of net farm income.
- Farm/Ranch Management Scenario results can be viewed in the form of graphs, tables, reports and scenario comparison indices.
- GPFARM Express comes with eight predefined projects which makes it easier to set up your operations. Historical and generated climate files are included as are default equipment lists. You can make adjustments to the predefined projects to customize them to your operation and be setup in a shorter time frame.
- The Information System for GPFARM provides the user access to agricultural databases, research and extension fact sheets, and other pertinent commercial, state, and federal sources of information through links to Internet sites.
- The Information System is accessible at the following web site: (http://infosys.ars.usda.gov). Enter the information and press the submit button. Then save it to your hard drive.
- It is also available on the GPSR Home page found at: http://gpsr.ars.usda.gov. Click on the GPFARM Information System link.
- It is included on the GPFARM CD and can be copied to the GPFARM directory on your hard drive.
- GPFARM is developed with Microsoft Visual C++ to run on PC compatible Pentium machines using the Microsoft Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment. A multimedia, on-line help system assists users with interactive data entry and program information.
- An online Help System is packaged with GPFARM. It is in HTML format and contains a Glossary, Related Topics button and many links to relative websites.
- GPFARM must be installed off the distribution CD. Contact information for requesting a FREE CD.
- This is the full version of GPFARM but it is packaged with several predefined projects that will speed up the set up of a user's operation. Each project can be customized to fit the user's own operation.
- Eight cropping projects and one rangeland project are currently included. Each project is set up with 2400 acres divided evenly between each crop in the rotation.
- A default equipment list is included as are several historical and generated climate files.
- Sketching the Farm/Ranch management unit layout is now optional.
- Wizards are included to aid in setting up the Farm/Ranch and Management Units.
- GPFARM can start or end on any day of the year. Each scenario contains its own climate. When many scenarios are added to the simulation queue for a given simulation period all scenario climates are checked for date compliance, i.e. do the start and end dates fall within the climate time period?
- Input variables with the word "Initial" should reflect the state of that variable on the starting date of the simulation.
- Historical and generated climate is available based on climate stations located in the GPFARM delivery area (Eastern Colorado, Eastern Wyoming, Western Nebraska and Western Kansas).
- Several historical and generated climate files are available with the predefined projects in GPFARM Express.
- The Economic spreadsheet results were reorganized into a Whole Farm Summary report, several Crop Reports and a Range Enterprise Budgeting report for ease of use.
- The Economic Results option now includes Range and Crop Breakeven Analyses on output.
- Operating Interest has been added to range economics.
- Economic values in GPFARM Express are left at the default value settings. These can be edited to suit an individual's operation.
- A management unit is defined as either cropland type which grows an agricultural crop or rangeland which grows rangeland (native forage) for the crop.
- A pictorial view of management activity is provided in the Operations section.
- The user may override soil layer information to represent their conditions. For example, the user can override the water content values that load from a GPFARM database. Several fields corresponding to water content must be changed. These include:
- Plant Available Water
- Water Content at -1/3 Bar
- Water Content at -15 Bar
- Water Content must be entered already adjusted for coarse fragments.
- Available Crops: (both dryland and irrigated types to simulate varieties)
- Winter Wheat
- Proso Millet
- Foxtail Millet Hay (single harvest)
- Sunflower - Oil (new)
- Sunflower - Confectionery (new)
- Sorghum (new)
Management Operation Options and Cropping Systems
- Events Over Time allows the entry of different management events over a maximum of 20 years (i.e., management events are not repeated from year to year). Events Over Time is particularly useful when making validation test runs.
- Within a scenario, the type of management event entry (Events Over Time or Crop Rotation) must be kept the same throughout the Farm/Ranch layout.
- Rainfall and Tillage effects on Surface Random Roughness have been added.
- The Crop Module response to planting density and senescence has been added.
- The simulated root zone has been set to the deepest rooted crop in the crop rotation and therefore varies from MU to MU.
- Irrigation can be scheduled for a single event or by interval.
- The Interval option lets the user schedule irrigation by specifying an amount, duration, interval, and time period for irrigation. The interface will generate the events for the time period.
- Nutrient additions naturally occurring in rainfall and irrigation have been added.
- Nutrients can be added through N inputs in the irrigation properties screen.
- Soil loss due to water and wind erosion on rangelands has been added.
- Rangeland forage production is affected by water stress but assumes no nutrient stress at this time.
- Range Output by year is available at the farm/ranch level for animal products and feed resources used.
- Range Output by year is available at the management unit level for runoff erosion and peak standing forage biomass.
- Emergency feed supplement bins have been added with the ability to refill once a year.
- A Least Cost Feed Ration calculation for available supplement has been added.
Output Visualization & Reporting
- Enhancements on Graphical Display of Output for the Whole Farm, Cropping MUs and Rangeland MUs are available under Farm/Ranch Window: Evaluate/Simulation Model Results/Graphical Display.
- Spatial Analysis - This is used to display spatial information, averaged over time for selected variables. Spatial Setup is used to modify the display of spatial information for crops. It is available under Farm/Ranch Window: Evaluate/Simulation Model Results/Spatial Analysis.
+ Resource Requirements
- Be sure to un-install any previous version of GPFARM on your machine.
- If you are installing under Windows XP Home, after installing GPFARM go to the GPFARM directory and right click. Go into properties and click on sharing. The GPFARM directory needs to be shared on Windows XP Home for GPFARM to function normally.
- Each Farm/Ranch must have at least one Management Units (MU) for simulation.
- The total number of MU on a Farm/Ranch is limited to 60.
- An MU must have a type of cropland or rangeland.
- The maximum simulation period is fifty years. The simulation can start on any day, however, the start must occur before the first event planned on the farm/ranch's MU operations. An end date before the last day of the year will not have annual output for that year.
- A soil of less than one foot cannot be simulated.
Management Unit Operations
- Each planting event must also have a harvest event scheduled.
- Operations are implemented at the beginning of the day for which they are entered.
- Fallow must have start and stop events indicating the beginning and ending of the fallow period. GPFARM will output a yield of zero for this period.
- Irrigation may be an entered event or scheduled by a fixed interval, where amount of water added, duration, frequency and time period are specified.
- Limited to cow-calf operations only. The initial herd numbers set a fixed stocking rate for the simulation.
- Grazing is not allowed on growing crops or crop residues.
- Animal Movement (herd on and off events) are allowed on rangeland management units only and only a whole herd movement is allowed.
- An optional Least Cost Feed Ration may be calculated at the start of the run from available feed and it is used for the length of the simulation.
- Supplement feed bins:
- Maximum allowed is five.
- All are available according to the least cost or user specified ration percentage.
- Supplement bins are filled annually with the Buy Supplement event. They are refilled once during the year when empty with emergency feed which is assessed at a higher cost.
- Three sale dates are allowed for: Open Cows, Heifer Calves, Steer Calves.
- The Program defaults to selling Open Cows.
- Heifers are retained as replacements for the cow herd. These culled cows are not included in the sale of open cows.
- Available crop types include: Winter Wheat, Corn, Fallow, Proso Millet, Foxtail Millet hay, Sunflowers and Sorghum including irrigated and dryland varieties where appropriate. All rotations and possible weed population dynamics with these rotations are simulated.
- Crops not listed above and perennials are not currently handled.
- If you want to change varieties, you must reselect planting and harvest events for existing projects.
- Only soil erosion from overland flow of water is available on croplands and rangelands.
- Soil erosion due to wind is simulated for cropland and rangeland, although the modules need validation testing.
- Fertigation applications are not simulated. However, the nitrogen content of irrigation water can be input and simulated via an irrigation event.
- Inorganic fertilizers and organics in the form of manure are simulated. Other organic forms are not available.
- Phosphorus simulation is not available.
- User entered organic matter or initial NO3-N must be for the fine fraction of soil as reported on a soil test.
- Restrictive layers cannot be less than 1 foot. Root and water restriction will affect all output numbers for the root zone.
- Enhancements in soil loss due to water erosion require that Topography and Conservation Planning tabs on the Resources screen be selected and filled with appropriate information.
- Incoming Soil Layer system from user cannot exceed 10 layers and soil profile depth must be greater than one foot. The incoming data is depth weighted to a science layer system.
- GPFARM's Scientific Soil Layer system is as follows:
- First Layer: 0 – 7 cm, Secondary Tillage Layer, Fixed Depth
- Second Layer: 8 – 15 cm, Primary Tillage Layer, Fixed Depth
- Third Layer: Depth Variable depending on the organic matter carbon availability. Maximum depth is 30 cm; this is the Microbial Activity Boundary.
- Fourth Layer: Depth is currently defaulted to the deepest rooting crop in the management unit crop rotation. This is the Rooting Zone Boundary.
- Fifth Layer: Depth Variable, End of the Soil Profile
- Restrictions set by the user overrides the root zone boundary in the case of a root restriction and in the case of a water restriction overrides the root and profile boundaries.
- Maximum number of consecutive climate years stored for scenario simulations is 50.
- The GPFARM whole farm climate database (Climdb.mdb) may be loaded with either generated or historical climate information provided with GPFARM. You may develop your own historical Climdb.mdb for your location. To develop your own climate database please contact the GPFARM modeling team by one of the following methods:
- Phone: (970) 492-7300
- Fax: (970) 492-7310
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Historical files still need a nearest generated site to fill required wind data.
Other Science Program Limitations
- Residue categories accounted for in the simulation include crop, manure, and other organic compounds. Each residue and herbicide application is tracked from it’s addition through it’s degradation.
- The following restrictions apply for memory management purposes:
- Residue accounting:
- Storage of surface and soil layer residues in the system are limited to 80 compartments for each type of residue (crop, manure, and other organic compounds).
- A mass < .01 kg/ha is zeroed to make a slot available.
- Pesticide active ingredients:
- Limited to 40 on the soil surface and in each soil layer.
- Some active ingredients in the pesticide database do not have the necessary parameters for accurate simulation. Atrazine 4L active ingredient parameters are set by default for this case. Please check the parameters for that active ingredient to see if you agree with them.
- Atrazine parameters are:
- KOC = 100
- Pesticide Application Efficiency = 1.0
- WOF = 0.45
- HLSOIL = 60
- HLPLANT = 5
- Application efficiency is the amount of active ingredient applied and not lost to evaporation. The default is 100%.
- The Weeds Module impact on yield applies only to cropping systems. It has no effect on rangeland MUs.
- When files are saved, don't use any of the following characters: / \ : ? * " ' < > | [ ] ( ) or any other special characters in a filename. Please use only upper and lower case letters as well as digits 0-9 and _.
+ Contact Information
- Pentium/200 with 64 Mbytes of RAM
Note: A faster Pentium or Pentium 2 CPU computer with 64+ Mbytes of RAM would enable faster processing of the program.
- 200 Mbytes free hard disk space.
- SVGA monitor set at a resolution of 800x600 and small fonts.
- 100 - 200 Mbytes of disk space for the Information System or historical climate databases.
- Microsoft Windows® 98, 98SE, NT4, 2000, ME or XP.
- Microsoft Access 97, 2000 or XP (optional but recommended)
For information about the GPFARM project, please contact the Great Plains Systems Research Unit (970) 492-7300 or write us using electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
. You may also wish to visit our Internet web site.
Direct mail inquiries to:
USDA, ARS, GPSR
2150 Centre Ave.
Bldg. D, Suite 200
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Internet Explorer 5.0
- GPFARM is using Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit to redistribute Internet Explorer 5.0.
The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in the GPFARM Help System, the GPFARM DSS or the GPFARM Information System is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. + Download Software
+ GPFARM Information System
Last Modified: 10/21/2008