4. A landscape generator simulating agricultural landscapes has been designed and is available on-line.
SIGMEA designed LandSFACTS, a user-friendly windows-based software to simulate crop allocation to fields by integrating typical crop rotations and crop spatio-temporal arrangements within agricultural landscapes. LandSFACTS reproduces the farmers’ decision-making process for crop succession and location (rotational and spatial rules). Rules on rotational (equivalent to temporal), spatial and spatio-temporal patterns of crops in agricultural landscapes were determined by analysing existing data from SIGMEA case study areas, by analysing the questionnaires to farmers on the decision process for growing specific crops on specific fields and their links to agronomical and economical rules, and by analysing results of discussions with farmers’ advisers. Specific modelling algorithms for simulating crop allocation to fields in a realistic and reliable way were created.
The general structure of LandSFACTS, its interfaces with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the generic gene flow platform LandFlow-Gene as well as its user interface were set up through a close liaison with modellers and case studies to ensure its usefulness and quality.
The final version of LandSFACTS was released in June 2007 as open-source software under the GNU Public Licence and is publicly available at http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/pie/LandSFACTS/.
In summary, LandSFACTS generates an agronomic arena that can act as the input for other research tools, especially models, and for informing various issues related to to spatial agricultural processes. Indeed, agricultural models often need to operate at large spatial scales, such as landscapes or regions over many years. LandSFACTS facilitates the setting up of realistic scenarios at such scales.
Writing: A. Messéan (INRA)
Creation date: 21 May 2009
Update: 28 May 2009