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CCAFS Regional Agricultural Forecasting Toolbox (CRAFT): software for forecasting of crop production, risk analysis and climate change impact studies

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting  152182505.(doi:10.13031/aim.20152182505)
Authors:   Vakhtang Shelia, Vaishali Sharda, James Hansen, Cheryl Porter, Meng Zheng, Pramod Aggarwal, Gerrit Hoogenboom
Keywords:   DSSAT, Crop Models, Decision Support, software, AGMIP, Simulation, forecasting

Abstract. The CCAFS Regional Agricultural Forecasting Toolbox (CRAFT) is a flexible, adaptable, and accessible software platform designed for within‐season forecasting of crop production; and perform risk analysis and climate change impact studies. This toolbox is designed with a user-friendly interface to produce multiple simulation scenarios, maps, and interactive visualizations based on spatial crop simulations using DSSAT and APSIM as external engines. It allows calibration of models using historic observed yield statistics and analyses.  CRAFT is designed to use gridded data schemes for spatial variability through the use of two predefined reference grids of 5 arc and 30 arc minute resolutions. Real-time and historical data of weather conditions are made available through data loader and ArcGIS. CRAFT is integrated with external engines for crop modelling for spatial crop simulations, and for the seasonal climate forecasts using CPT. The integrated and modular design and structure of the CRAFT allows easy adaptation of the system in regional and scientific domains. It generates informative interactive maps of simulation results, along with numeric results, and summary statistics. Several case studies have shown that the CRAFT toolbox can help stakeholders by providing precise information on the spatial and temporal variability of crop production, thus enabling better management of agricultural risks associated with increasing climate variability and extreme events. This paper provides an overview of the design and capabilities of the CRAFT as a platform to provide one-stop access to different crop models simulations and yield forecasting along with risk analysis and climate impact studies at a gridded scale.

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