News & Event

13th AMEI Development Sprint

From November 27 to December 1, 2023, the DSSAT Team hosted the13th AMEI Development Sprint in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (UF/IFAS) in Gainesville, Florida. This meeting was held in collaboration with the Laboratory of Ecophysiology of Plants under Environmental Stress (LEPSE) of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE). During 2022 and 2023 a total of four AMEI workshops have been held with two in Montpellier, France, and two in Gainesville, Florida, under the auspices of a Memorandum of Agreement between UF/IFAS and INRAE. As part of this agreement, a small grant was provided to support the travel for both the French and UF scientists.

The Agricultural Model Exchange Initiative (AMEI; see GitHub and, envisions the advancement of agricultural research by employing and applying crop simulation models. During the AMEI Development sprint, participants focused on continued development of comparing and exchanging soil temperature modules across various crop modeling platforms. The University of Florida’s DSSAT ( was one of the platforms involved in the development. Alongside DSSAT, other participating crop modeling platforms included BioMa, SIMPLACE, SiriusQuality, STICS, and Monica. The accurate simulation of soil temperature holds significance due to its direct impact on soil biophysical and chemical processes, influencing crop growth, development, and yield.

Schema illustrating CyML transformation extensibility to support bidirectional source transformation. First, the model algorithms in the language of the source platform is parsed and an abstract syntax tree (AST) is generated. Then, the rules for transforming this AST into the CyML AST is applied. The final step will reuse the CyML transformation tool developed by Midingoyi et al. (2020) to produce model algorithms compatible with other languages and platforms (Midingoyi et al. 2021).

The Development Sprint featured contributions from various regions, including the USA (represented by the DSSAT team), France (INRAE and CIRAD), Germany (the University of Bonn, Technical University of Munich, and ZALF), and virtual participation from Italy (CREA and JRC). The upcoming AMEI Development Sprint is scheduled to be hosted by ZALF, Germany, in early 2024.

The activities associated with AMEI have resulted in several papers including:

  • “Crop modeling frameworks interoperability through bidirectional source code transformation” authored by C.A. Midingoyi, C. Pradal, A. Enders, D. Fumagalli, P. Lecharpentier, H. Raynal, M. Donatelli, D. Fanchini, I.N. Athanasiadis, C. Porter, G. Hoogenboom, F.A.A. Oliveira, D. Holzworth, and P. Martre, published in Environmental Modeling & Software 168 (2023) 105790.
  • “Crop2ML: An open-source multi-language modeling framework for the exchange and reuse of crop model components” authored by C.A. Midingoyi, C. Pradal, A. Enders, D. Fumagalli, H. Raynal, M. Donatelli, I.N. Athanasiadis, C. Porter, G. Hoogenboom, D. Holzworth, F. Garcia, P. Thorburn, P. Martre, 2021.  Environmental Modelling & Software, 142, p.105055.
  • “Reuse of process-based models: automatic transformation into many programming languages and simulation platforms” authored by C.A. Midingoyi, C. Pradal, I.N. Athanasiadis, M. Donatelli, A. Enders, D. Fumagalli, F. Garcia, D. Holzworth, G. Hoogenboom, C. Porter, H. Raynal, P. Thorburn, P. Martre 2020.  in silico Plants2(1), p.diaa007.
  • “The agricultural model exchange initiative”authored by P. Martre, D. Marcello, C. Pradal, A. Enders, C.A. Midingoyi, I. Athanasiadis, D.Fumagalli, D.P. Holzworth, G. Hoogenboom, C. Porter, H. Raynal, A.E. Rizzoli, P. Thorburn, 2018. IICA.

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