Tuesday, November 14, 2006

CSDB Ver1.0: Database and Software for Managing Data Used by ICASA/DSSAT Crop Models.

Gregory S. Buol, Gail Wilkerson, and Michael C. Sturgill. North Carolina State Univ, Crop Science Dept, PO Box 7620, Raleigh, NC 27695-7620

Agronomic models have been developed to assist in studying crop growth, development, and management.  These models require standardized inputs to identify simulation conditions.  In the case of the widely used ICASA/DSSAT crop models, data standards have been developed utilizing text based files to handle data storage.  As more data files are created, however, file management becomes an important issue.  Also, the ability to find and search for related data between files can be difficult.  One alternative is to use a relational database for data storage.  CSDB (Crop Simulation DataBase) utilizes a Microsoft Access 2003 database to store data required by DSSAT 4.0.X crop models.  To manage the CSDB database, an editor has been developed using Microsoft Visual BASIC 6.0.  The relational database and editor allow data relationships to be easily maintained and data to be readily searched and grouped.  Key features of CSDB include the ability to import, export and create DSSAT 4.0 files. Treatments can be grouped by experiment, crop/cultivar, soil, location, year and custom groups for simulation. Treatments associated with a given cultivar, soil or weather year can be reviewed.  This facilitates removal of duplicated or unused copies of soil, weather, and treatment data.  DSSAT 4.0 models can be executed from within CSDB.  Simulation output can be viewed, graphed, and saved. Graphics are available for treatment, weather, and soil data.  CSDB also has two special simulation features.  The first allows multiple weather years to be run for selected treatments.  The second allows cultivar coefficient values to be tested across treatments matching a selected cultivar.