SUBSTOR-Potato simulates the daily dynamics of water, nitrogen, biomass, phenology, and tuber yield accumulation of poato (Solanum tuberosum). The models of soil water and soil N dynamics used in the SUBSTOR-Potato are capacity type. The model recognizes five developmental stages (pre-planting, sprout elongation, emergence, tuber initiation, and maturity). Five genotype-specific parameters control plant growth and development processes such as leaf area expansion, tuber initiation, potential tuber growth rate, and tuber growth cessation. Various relative temperature functions (with values ranging from 0 to 1 for each cardinal temperature – base, optimum, and maximum) are sued to modify leaf, root, and tuber growth, photosynthesis, and tuber initiation.

Potato growth and development are simulated based on the accumulation and partitioning of biomass in relation to intercepted radiation, photoperiodicity, and temperature. Tuber growth is controlled by the potential tuber growth rate and soil water and N balances. Soil water balance comprises precipitation/irrigation infiltration, deep drainage, unsaturated flow, soil evaporation, and plant transpiration processes. Plant transpiration is defined by the potential evapotranspiration, plant root distribution, and the plant available water in the soil, computed as the difference between field capacity and wilting point values. The soil nitrogen balance consists of various N processes such as mineralization, immobilization, nitrification, denitrification, ammonification, and plant N uptake, which in turn is defined by crop demand and soil supply. For details, the reader is referred to Griffin et al. (1993) and Singh et al. (1998).

Example applications of SUBSTOR include:

  • Estimating soil nitrogen pools in a sandy soil (Prasad et al., 2015).
  • Examining the effect of within-season temperature variation on tuber yield (Patil et al., 2018).
  • Examining the effects of weather on tuber yield, nitrate leaching and profitability for irrigated conditions in the US Pacific Northwest (Woli and Hoogenboom, 2018).


Griffin, T.S., Johnson, B.S., Ritchie, J.T., 1993. A simulation model for potato growth and development: Substor-potato Version 2.0. Michigan State University, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

Patil, D., Pandey, V., Acharya, R., Baraiya, L., 2018. Effect of intra-seasonal variation in temperature on tuber yield of potato in middle Gujarat using SUBSTOR model. JOURNAL OF AGROMETEOROLOGY 20, 22-27.

Prasad, R., Hochmuth, G.J., Boote, K.J., 2015. Estimation of nitrogen pools in irrigated potato production on sandy soil using the model SUBSTOR. PloS one 10, e0117891.

Raymundo, R., Asseng, S., Prassad, R., Kleinwechter, U., Concha, J., Condori, B., Bowen, W., Wolf, J., Olesen, J.E., Dong, Q., 2017. Performance of the SUBSTOR-potato model across contrasting growing conditions. Field crops research 202, 57-76.

Singh, U., Matthews, R.B., Griffin, T.S., Ritchie, J.T., Hunt, L.A., Goenaga, R., 1998. Modeling growth and development of root and tuber crops. Systems Approaches for Sustainable Agricultural Development 7, 129-156.

Woli, P., Hoogenboom, G., 2018. Simulating weather effects on potato yield, nitrate leaching, and profit margin in the US Pacific Northwest. Agricultural Water Management 201, 177-187.