4Mx Soil-Plant Model: Applications, Opportunities and Challenges

Nándor Fodor

Abstract


Crop simulation models describe the main processes of the soil-plant system in a dynamic way usually in a daily time-step. With the help of these models we may monitor the soil- and plant-related processes of the simulated system as they evolve according to the atmospheric and environmental conditions. Crop models could be successfully applied in the following areas: (1) Education: by promoting the system-oriented thinking a comprehensive overview of the interrelations of the soil-plant system as well as of the environmental protection related aspects of the human activities could be presented. (2) Research: The results of observations as well as of experiments could be extrapolated in time and space, thus, for example, the possible effects of the global climate change could be estimated. (3) Practice: Model calculations could be used in intelligent irrigation control and decision supporting systems as well as for providing scientific background for policy makers. The most spectacular feature of the 4Mx crop model is that its graphical user interface enables the user to alter not only the parameters of the model but the function types of its governing equations as well. The applicability of the 4Mx model is presented via several case-studies.

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DOI: 10.17700/jai.2012.3.2.94

Journal of Agricultural Informatics