A model development workshop was held at the University of Florida April 9-11, 2019 to collaborate on the Agricultural Model Exchange Initiative (AMEI), an open initiative that aims to address challenges for exchanging model units at different granularities between modeling frameworks. Pierre Martre and Cyrille Midingoyi from INRA and Christophe Pradal from CIRAD traveled to Gainesville, FL, USA from Montpellier, France to work with DSSAT developers to incorporate AMEI components into DSSAT and to export DSSAT components to AMEI. The AMEI development group, a consortium of agricultural modelling groups from around the world, has designed a protocol, Crop2ML, which facilitates exchange of metadata and programming algorithms, with the goal of generating a library of open source modeling components which can be shared.
DSSAT developers at University of Florida, Oklahoma State University, and University of Passo Fundo, Brazil took part in the development sprint, working as teams with the AMEI developers. One team worked on incorporating an AMEI energy balance module into DSSAT, and three other groups developed AMEI components for CROPGRO root growth, a gene-based leaf node appearance module, and a generic pest and disease module. All groups were able to accomplish their objectives within the time frame of the workshop, while also providing valuable feedback to the AMEI developers for improvements to the model exchange system. One of the main conclusions of the workshop was that the concept of model exchange is feasible and that the designed CROP2ML protocol is an efficient way to allow these exchanges.
Although several of the workshop participants were in remote locations, a virtual group photo was taken during a conference call.