Advanced Application of DSSAT

Advanced Application of DSSAT: Assessing Crop Production,
Nutrient Management, Climatic Risk and Environmental
Sustainability with Simulation Models

Join Us in Arusha, Tanzania |October 5-12, 2016

In Partnership with DSSAT Foundation and the University of Florida



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About the Training


Today more than ever, increased crop production depends on judicious use of resources. In addition, issues such as climate change, climate variability, soil carbon sequestration, biofuels, long-term food security and environmental sustainability have become important issues. Computer simulation models of the soil/plant/atmosphere system can make a valuable contribution to both furthering our understanding of the processes that determine crop responses and predicting crop performance, resource use and environmental impacts for different environments and management scenarios. User-oriented simulation models greatly facilitate the task of optimizing crop growth and deriving recommendations concerning crop management. They can also be used to determine the potential impact of climate change on crop production and long-term soil carbon sequestration, or provide management scenarios for adapting to climate change and variability from field scale to regional scale.



This workshop is designed for agronomists, soil scientists, meteorologists and economists from national and international agricultural research institutes and universities, as well as policy-makers in charge of agricultural productivity and planning who had prior exposure to DSSAT or other crop simulation models. The program will have sub-Saharan Africa focus designed for researchers, extension agents as well as policy-makers from African governments and their Ministries in charge of agricultural productivity and planning.

    Participants should:

  • Be engaged in crop production or agro-ecosystems-related research, teaching, extension, outreach or planning
  • Have some understanding of crop and soil science and be relatively familiar with the terminology used in these fields. An in-depth level of knowledge, however, is not a prerequisite.
  • Be familiar with personal computers and the Windows operating environment.
  • Understand English.
  • Prior exposure to DSSAT will be advantageous.

About the Program


The overall goal of this advanced training program is to provide participants who are familiar with DSSAT or other crop simulation models a comprehensive understanding of the computer model for the simulation of crop growth and yield, soil and plant water, nutrient and carbon dynamics and their application to real world problems.
Specifically the program will focus on:

  • Operation of the Windows-based Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT) Version 4.6 software ( and the GSSAT V2.0 software for geospatial application.
  • The minimum data set entry for weather, soils, and experimental data.
  • Description of the DSSAT-Cropping System Model, CSM and its modules, such as CROPGRO, and CERES, and the science embedded in the models.
  • Integration of crop simulation models with data base management and Geographic Information Systems (GSSAT V2.0).
  • Application of the GSSAT to improve management of cropping systems, develop fertilizer recommendations, and quantify impact of climate change from field level to national and regional scales.


The program faculty will include subject matter experts from IFDC and the University of Florida as well from other experts from National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) and regional centers.


The program will:

  • Describe a practical approach for simulating effects of soil, weather, and management factors on crop production, soil fertility, and the environment.
  • Demonstrate how processes of crop growth and development, water use, uptake of water and nutrients and carbon dynamics can be simulated.
  • Make extensive use of “hands on” sessions that apply the DSSAT-CSM model to cropping systems in various regions of the world.
  • Describe procedures for collecting and managing crop, weather and soil data for model evaluation and application.
  • Employing DSSAT and the Phosphate Rock Decision Support System (PRDSS) for rapid analyses and nutrient recommendations.
  • Application of GSSAT – a geo-spatial tool linked with DSSAT for regional and site-specific recommendations.
  • Use GSSAT to analyze applications that include irrigation, fertilizer and nutrient management, climate change, soil carbon sequestration, climate variability, and precision management.
  • Conduct a case study at district and/or country scale to develop fertilizer recommendations and assess economic risks and environmental impacts associated with agricultural production.

Travel & Fees



The workshop will take place at the Naura Springs Hotel, which is located on East Africa Community Road just off the Nairobi Road in the heart of Arusha, Tanzania. Naura Springs is quite close to the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC) and overlooks magnificent Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. The hotel is easily accessible – just 45 minutes from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), 1.5 hours from the Namanga border and five minutes from the city center. KLM shuttle buses are available to provide economical transport from/to Kilimanjaro Airport (for KLM arrivers only) at US $15 per person. For those not arriving via KLM, transportation from the airport to the hotel can be arranged for a fee by contacting the hotel.

Naura Springs Hotel has agreed to offer IFDC registered participants the exceptional rate of US $55.00 per room/per night for reservations made no later than September 5, 2016. This rate is for standard single rooms and inclusive of breakfast and all taxes. All rooms have digital satellite TVs, Internet connection, direct dial-out facilities, mini-bars, safety deposit boxes, tea- or coffee-making facilities, as well as spacious bathrooms with Jacuzzis and shower boxes. All rooms face magnificent Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. Participants should plan to arrive in Arusha, Tanzania, on Tuesday, October 4, 2016.

East Africa Community/Nairobi Rd.
P.O. Box 7302, Arusha, Tanzania
Contact: Beatrice Dallaris
Phone: +255-27-2050001/8
Fax: +255-27-2050009/10
Mobile: +255-754 318076


APPLICATIONS FOR NECESSARY VISAS SHOULD BE MADE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Participants who are not eligible to enter Tanzania without a visa should apply at the nearest Tanzanian embassy for a visa. All required immunizations and health formalities should be completed. Medical insurance should be obtained by participants. The training program fee does not cover any medical insurance or expenses.

Enrollment & Fees




The program fee, less the non-refundable deposit, will be refunded for cancellations made two (2) weeks before the commencement of the program. Ninety percent of the paid fee will be returned and 10 percent, in addition to the deposit, will be charged to cover administrative costs for cancellations made between two (2) weeks and one (1) week before the commencement of the program. Cancellations made less than one (1) week before the commencement of the program will receive no refund.

Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Paid participants will receive priority. An organization wishing to enroll more than one participant should supply information and payment for each participant.


Payment of the program fee can be made by:

  • (1) check or draft payable to IFDC;
  • (2) wire transfer to IFDC’s account in the U.S.A. through First Metro Bank, 406 West Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., ABA number 062203955 for credit to IFDC account number 55281; or
  • (3) major credit card – MasterCard, Visa or American Express.

The program fee covers registration, training and reference material (software and the book Understanding Option for Agricultural Production), coffee/tea breaks, all lunches and surface transportation related to field trips. The fee does not include costs of participants’ air travel expenses from their home country to Ethiopia, lodging and meal expenses (beyond lunches as stated above), medical and/or communications expenses. Participants are responsible for these costs. Participants should plan to arrive in Arusha, Tanzania, by Tuesday, October 4, 2016



IFDC is a nonprofit, public international organization (PIO) dedicated to increasing agricultural productivity and food production through the development and use of plant nutrients in sustainable crop production systems. Headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.A., IFDC is involved in human resource development, research and technical assistance in collaboration with public, private, national and international organizations throughout the world. IFDC has conducted more than 700 formal workshops, study tours and training programs for over 11,000 participants from over 150 countries since 1974. The programs have covered a wide range of subjects including integrated soil fertility management and fertilizer use efficiency, fertilizer production technology, agro-input dealership, competitive marketing, supply chain management, investment analysis, policy reforms and numerous specialized topics.


Training and Workshop Coordination Unit

P.O. Box 2040 Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662, U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 (256) 381-6600
Telefax: +1 (256) 381-7408
As a nonprofit organization, IFDC does not finance or sponsor any participant.