Crop Modeling

TPSS 601


Kent Kobayashi

Semesters taught:

Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015


Principles of modeling crop growth and development, model types, techniques, simulation. Modeling influence of climate/environment on phenology, growth, development of horticultural crops.

To present food safety as relevant, timely, and useful to their future work in food science or related sciences.

Skills and knowledge to be acquired:

By the end of the course, students should: Know about the objectives and uses of modeling Be familiar with statistical and mechanistic models Understand the process of developing models Be able to use computers to develop models Be aware of models of different crops

Computer skills to be acquired:

STELLA simulation program


TPSS 470; NREM 310. Highly recommended: NREM 203 or MATH 215. Students are expected to be familiar with statistics; regression analysis; calculus; and PC SAS or a similar statistical program.


Teh, C.B.S. 2006. Introduction to Mathematical Modeling of Crop Growth. BrownWalker Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Films and videos:


Guest Speakers:


Field Trips:


Course organization:

This course has a variety of teaching techniques. There will be lectures, class discussions, small group discussions, homework assignments, lab assignments, guest speakers, and student presentations. Readings will be from the textbook, handouts, journal articles, and web sites. All of the information covered in the readings will not necessarily be covered in class presentations.


  • Course introduction and overview.
  • Philosophy, objectives, and uses of modeling and models
  • Systems analysis. Agricultural systems
  • Types of models and modeling. Models in agriculture
  • General modeling process
  • Statistical modeling and models
  • Regression techniques and curve fitting
  • Growth analysis
  • Growth functions, indices, and curves
  • Continuous and discrete systems
  • Continuous and discrete systems
  • Mechanistic models and modeling
  • Simulation process
  • Probability distributions, random numbers, stochastic modeling
  • Verification, validation, and sensitivity analysis
  • Simulation languages
  • Modeling of physiological processes
  • Phenology, development, and seasonality
  • Phenological models
  • Yield components
  • Estimating plant yield
  • Models of fruit crops
  • Models of ornamental crops
  • Models of vegetable crops
  • General modeling process


There will be three exams during the semester. Exams will cover the lecture materials, resource materials, and student reports. The first exam will cover the first third of the semester. The second exam will deal with the middle third of the semester. The final exam will concentrate on the last third of the semester and be comprehensive. If you cannot attend an exam, please inform the instructor before the exam date.

Grading will be based on a class curve. Assignments handed in after the due dates will be reduced in earned points.

Lecture - final grade (65%)

Homework assignments 15
In-class assignments 10
Term paper and oral presentation 10
Exam I 10
Exam II 10
Final Exam 10

Laboratory (35%)

Lab assignments 15
Lab Exam 10
Lab Final Exam 10