Production Model Available on the Web
By Jim Core
July 17, 2002
A nearly complete Cotton Production
Model (CPM) is now available on an Agricultural Research Service web site and
should eventually help growers more efficiently raise this valuable fiber crop.
The model, built on 30 years of research, also draws on the latest
scientific knowledge. It is designed to be used with a wide variety of cotton
types grown in the United States. In developing the model, researchers
collected data at about 20 locations spanning the Cotton Belt.
The CPM is a "second generation" model, incorporating the latest
findings on crop growth and development in a software engineering format that
is more versatile and user friendly than previous models. The simulations of
physiological processes are also improved, including models for plant-water
relations and soil-root processes, and should be easily linked with some pest
and disease models.
Researchers with ARS, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency, believe the CPM has the
potential to make useful contributions to cotton producers when completed. If
fully developed, it would be a valuable decision-making tool for production
inputs including irrigation, fertilization, plant-growth regulators and
defoliant application before harvest. As of now, it is an advanced model
suitable for researchers.
The improved software engineering design ensures that the model is easy to
maintain and update with future scientific advances. The CPM's programming code
is flexible and adaptable, according to Gretchen F. Sassenrath-Cole, a plant
physiologist at ARS'
and Production Technology Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss. This
adaptability allows the computer code to be incorporated into process-based
models of other crops. ARS is making the model codes available to researchers.
The executable code, source code, and supporting documentation are available
on ARS' Office of Technology Transfer web site at: