An economist’s wish list for soil and crop modelling

Øyvind Hoveid


A requirement for successful integration of soil, crop and economic models is a relevant interface of the three. Economic farming models deal with choice of crops, crop management during growing season and stock management after harvest. With detailed daily weather information the state of the soil might be simulated so that a suitable sowing date can be estimated. Moreover with rational beliefs with respect to future crop prices, and with a crop model which responds to management, the management during the growing season might be optimized with respect to choice of cultivar, fertilization and irrigation. So far, as reflected by Müller and Robertson (2014), predictions of future crop yields according to crop models take only to small extent such farmer responses into account, and might therefore overestimate the responses of crop harvests to climate.

Comparison of soil, crop and economic simulations with observed weather and crop outcomes might lead to estimation/calibration of unobserved parameters in all models. Such exercises need generic soil, crop and economic models which do not leave modelling outcomes to the crop modeller’s or economist’s discretion.

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