An overview of APSIM, a model designed for farming systems simulation

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The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) is a modular modelling framework that has been developed by the Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit in Australia. APSIM was developed to simulate biophysical process in farming systems, in particular where there is interest in the economic and ecological outcomes of management practice in the face of climatic risk. The paper outlines APSIM's structure and provides details of the concepts behind the different plant, soil and management modules. These modules include a diverse range of crops, pastures and trees, soil processes including water balance, N and P transformations, soil pH, erosion and a full range of management controls. Reports of APSIM testing in a diverse range of systems and environments are summarised. An example of model performance in a long-term cropping systems trial is provided. APSIM has been used in a broad range of applications, including support for on-farm decision making, farming systems design for production or resource management objectives, assessment of the value of seasonal climate forecasting, analysis of supply chain issues in agribusiness activities, development of waste management guidelines, risk assessment for government policy making and as a guide to research and education activity. An extensive citation list for these model testing and application studies is provided.

Keywords: Farming systems modelling; APSIM; Simulation model

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