Open Source Strategy


Open Source Strategy

The DSSAT community is committed to releasing all DSSAT software tools and models under an open software license. As of January, 2018, two minor issues remain concerning ownership of a specific model and one tool. Thus, for the moment, the code is maintained on a private GitHub account. If you would like to contribute to DSSAT development or otherwise work with the software, please contact us so that we can provide you with access to the source code. Note that this requires an active GitHub UserID.

We do ask our developers who will be actively making changes to the code to follow these procedures:

  1. Once your GitHub username has been added to our list of users, you will be able to access the DSSAT Foundation dssat-csm repository here: .
  2. “Fork” a new dssat-csm repository to your GitHub account.
  3. Create a new branch for your work based on the latest commit on the develop branch. Give it some short descriptive name (e.g., sugarbeet, or Soil_K) Do all of your work on this new branch.
  4. When you have something that you would like to share with the DSSAT community, issue a “pull request” with some explanation of what you’ve done and how you’ve tested it. We will likely already be in conversation with you at this point about your new features and whether it is something we should include in the next DSSAT release.
  5. To stay up-to-date with the latest changes to the DSSAT code, you should periodically “pull” from the DSSAT develop branch and “merge” with your branch. This will make things much easier to pull your code into the official DSSAT version later.
  6. If these instructions sound like nonsense, there are many Git tutorials out there, including this one on GitHub:

We have development sprints twice a year where people around the world who are contributing to DSSAT development get together to collaborate, share what they are doing and set priorities for future development. Often we find that people are working in parallel on the same thing and we can begin a conversation to reduce duplication of effort and enhance the work of everyone. We would like to keep up with whatever your group is proposing and help your efforts as much as we can. Please contact us if you would like to find out how you can contribute to model development at the next DSSAT development sprint.

The DSSAT Cropping System Model (CSM) currently runs under Windows, Linux and Apple operating systems. The DSSAT shell and associated tools are only available for Windows. We are exploring porting the functionality to a platform that would allow use under any of the three operating systems.