Plant Module

The original crop models of DSSAT were CERES-Maize, CERES-Wheat, SOYGRO, and PNUTGRO. These models evolved over time from many independent models to become a single agricultural systems model that encompasses all the original crop models as individual crop modules (Jones et al., 2001).

New crop modules are added to DSSAT via two methods. The first, easier approach uses the CROPGRO template and data from field experiments, journal articles, non-refereed publications and reports, and variety trials to calibrate the genetic parameters which control the growth and development characteristics of the new crop. This approach does not require modifying existing model software or computer code. The second approach is to create a completely new crop module within the CSM code, such as when growth or phenological processes are very different from those described by CROPGRO. In this case, both model coding and calibration of parameters are required. The CERES-Sugarbeet model is one example of a recently added module (Anar et al., 2019).

Crop models under development using the CROPGRO template include chia (Mack et al., paper submitted, 2019), quinoa, and carinata (Boote et al., in progress, 2019). Sweet corn (Lizaso et al., 2007) and sugarbeet (Anar et al., 2019) were added as new crop modules following the style of CERES models. Other models in CSM were adapted from an existing model to use the modular format of CSM (Jones et al., 2001), such as CANEGRO sugarcane (Singels et al., 2008), ALOHA pineapple (Zhang et al., 1997), and NWheat (Asseng et al., 2000). The CROPSIM model (Hunt and Pararaiasingham, 1995) was added to DSSAT-CSM as a template model for wheat, barley, and cassava. The CROPSIM template was also used to develop a new crop model specific for cassava called YUCA. The perennial forage model (Rymph, 2004) is based on the CROPGRO model, but it differs enough that it is a separate model. It is also a template model, allowing simulation of brachiaria and cynodon (Pequeno et al., 2018), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) (Malik et al., 2018). The SIMPLE modeling approach by Zhao et al. (2019) will also be included or the development of models for crops for which limited data are available.

Generic plant sub-modules

These sub-modules can be accessed from any plant species module, although not all plant modules have been linked at this time.

  • Generic plant phosphorus uptake
  • Pest and disease damage

Crop species sub-modules

Crops currently available in DSSAT are listed below with links to further information as available:


CROPGRO annual crop module


CROPGRO perennial forage module

  • Legumes
    • Alfalfa (Lucerne)
  • Grasses
    • Bahia
    • Bermudagrass
    • Brachiaria
  • Under development: Guinea grass, Ryegrass

CERES-Maize module


IXIM module


CERES-Sweetcorn module


CERES-Rice module


CERES-Sorghum module


CERES-Millet module

  • Grain cereals
    • Millet

CERES-Wheat module


NWheat module

  • Grain cereals
    • Wheat
    • Teff

SUBSTOR module


AROID module

  • Root crops
    • Taro
    • Tanier

YUCA module


CROPSIM module

  • Root crops
    • Cassava
  • Grain cereals
    • Wheat
    • Barley

CERES-Beet module

  • Root/Energy crops
    • Sugar beet

CANEGRO module

  • Sugar/Energy crops
    • Sugarcane

CASUPRO module

  • Sugar/Energy crops
    • Sugarcane

ALOHA module