APSIM

APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems Simulator) is a farming systems model that simulates the effects of environmental variables and management decisions on crop yield, profits and ecological outcomes.

Read about our selection process for including tools on Climate Kelpie

 

Who this tool is for

APSIM is not designed for use by farmers but it underpins other decision-making tools for farmers, extension officers, government agencies and agribusiness analysts, such as:
•YieldProphet® [link to page of same name]
•Whopper Cropper [link to page of same name]
•HowOften? [link to page of same name]
•HowWet? [link to page of same name]

APSIM is not designed for use by farmers but it underpins other decision-making tools for farmers, extension officers, government agencies and agribusiness analysts, such as:

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Questions this tool answers

What does my crop yield look like under a range of variable inputs, including climate attributes, soil moisture, soil type, and soil nutrient status?

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What this tool does

APSIM predicts crop yield for different climate attributes, plant varieties, soil types and management decisions.

It has three modules:

  • Plant – it handles a diverse range of crops, pastures and trees
  • Soil – it handles soil processes including water balance, nitrogen and phosphorus transformations, soil pH and erosion
  • Management – it handles the full range of management controls including sowing, fertilising, irrigation, tillage and rotations

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Inputs

APSIM needs good climate data (maximum and minimum temperature, rainfall and solar radiation) and good soil characterisation data.

You need to input weather data. SILO is a good source of weather data for Australia.

Extensive soil datasets for much of Australia's cropping regions are supplied with APSIM.

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Outputs

APSIM produces predictions of yield and other biological and physical processes within the farming system according to the climate, soil and management inputs. Figures 1 and 2 show example outputs.

Graph of yield according to fertiliser input

Figure 1: The predicted yield from a sorghum crop according to three levels of fertiliser input (Source: APSIM Training Package)

Graph of yield according to fertiliser input

Figure 2: The effect of residue type on the speed of decomposition (Source: APSIM Training Package)

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Reliability

APSIM predictions have been extensively validated against real observed crop and soil data.

This validation work is published in a number of journal articles.

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History

APSIM is owned by the APSIM Initiative, an unincorporated joint venture between CSIRO, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Queensland) and The University of Queensland.

This joint venture will soon be open to new parties to join. The aim is to support the ongoing development and maintenance of APSIM.

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Support available

The APSIM Initiative is responsible for all APSIM development and support. It also provides training.

There is an APSIM support forum where you can ask the developers and other users about APSIM.

You can download training manuals from the APSIM website.

Contact the APSIM team at: apsim@daf.qld.gov.au or on (07) 4688 1596.

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Where to get it

Download APSIM from the web.

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Cost

Free

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