1. General Model Information

Name: Crop Environment Resource Synthesis


Main medium: air+terrestrial
Main subject: biogeochemistry
Organization level: ecosystem,population
Type of model: ordinary differential equations
Main application:
Keywords: crop growth, corn, predictive, deterministic, soil, water, temperature, soil nitrogen dynamics


Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT)
Fax :



CERES-Maize (Crop Environment Resource Synthesis) model is a predictive, deterministic model designed to simulate corn growth, soil, water and temperature and soil nitrogen dynamics at a field scale for one growing season. It is related to other CERES models, such as the CERES-Wheat model. The model is used for basic and applied research on the effects of climate (thermal regime, water stress) and management (fertilization practices, irrigation) on the growth and yield of corn. It is also used to evaluate nitrogen fertilization practices on nitrogen uptake and nitrogen leaching from soil and in global change research to evaluate the potential effects of climate warming and changes in precipitation and water use efficiency due to increased CO2.

Potential dry matter production is calculated as a function of radiation, leaf area index and reduction factors for temperature and moisture stress. Six phenological stages are simulated, (based primarily on degree-days), and leaf and stem growth rates are calculated (depending on phenological stages).

Available photosynthate is initially partitioned to leaves and stems, and later for ear and grain growth. Any remaining photosynthate is allocated to root growth. However, if dry matter available for root growth is below a minimum threshold, grain, leaves and stem allocations are reduced and the minimum level of root growth occurs. Separate routines calculate water balance, including runoff, infiltration, saturated and unsaturated water flow and drainage. Mineral nitrogen dynamics and nitrogen availability for crop uptake are also calculated.

Data used as input include:

  1. Climate variables such as latitude, radiation and daily temperature and precipitation;
  2. Management variables such as sowing date, plant density, irrigation schedules;
  3. Crop genetic constants; and
  4. Soil/site parameters such as soil albedo, and soil layer thickness.
The model provides information on above-ground dry matter, nitrogen content, grain dry matter and nitrogen content, summaries of water balance and soil mineral nitrogen. Accompanying information can be provided using a decision support system called DSSAT. The model is public domain.

Author of the abstract:


II. Technical Information

II.1 Executables:

Operating System(s): DOS

II.2 Source-code:

Programming Language(s): FORTRAN

II.3 Manuals:

II.4 Data:

III. Mathematical Information

III.1 Mathematics

III.2 Quantities

III.2.1 Input

III.2.2 Output

IV. References

Adams, R. M., C. Rosenzweig, R.M. Peart, J.T. Ritchie, B.A.McCarl, J.D. Glyer, R.B. Curry, J.W. Jones, K.J. Boote and L.H.Allen, Jr. 1990. Global climate change and US agriculture. Nature345:219-224.

Bachelet, D., and C.A. Gay. 1993. The impacts of climate change on rice yield: a comparison of four modelperformances. Ecol. Mod. 65:71-93.

Jones, C.A., and J.R. Kiniry. 1986. CERES-Maize: A simulation model of maize growth and development.Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas.

Kiniry, J.R. 1991. Maize phasic development. In: Hanks, J. and J.T. Ritchie (eds),Modelling soil plant and soil systems, 55-69.

Mearns, L.O., C. Rosenzweig and R. Goldberg. 1992.Sensitivity analysis of the CERES-wheat model to changes ininterannual variability of climate. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Wu, Y., C.M. Sakamoto, and D.M. Botner. 1989. On the application of CERES-Maize model to the North-China Plain. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 49, 9-22.

V. Further information in the World-Wide-Web

VI. Additional remarks

Last review of this document by: T. GabeleNov 21th 1997
Status of the document:
last modified by Tobias Gabele Wed Aug 21 21:44:40 CEST 2002

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