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Last update: May 2021

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Agroclim STICS


Stics model overview

The Stics model is a dynamic, generic and robust model aiming to simulate the soil-crop-atmosphere system.

The crop model known as STICS (Simulateur mulTIdisciplinaire pour les Cultures Standard, or multidisciplinary simulator for standard crops) was created at INRA, the French national institute for agricultural research, in 1996 on the initiative of Nadine Brisson with informatics support from Dominique Ripoche.

The creators built the STICS model from “pieces” by bringing together the GOA (plant), BYM (water), and LIXIM (nitrogen) models, which had essentially been produced by two INRA teams, one in Avignon (with Nadine Brisson) and one in Laon (with Bruno Mary).

At the beginning, STICS simulated two main crops, wheat and corn, and was used for the first time as part of the ECOSPACE project (1997) to simulate agricultural production and nitrate leaching on the basis of soil heterogeneity.

Very soon afterward, the need to adapt STICS to capture new crops and new practices was identified.

That is when Nadine Brisson began ardently seeking new competencies to enhance and further develop the model. Gradually, many researchers and partners became involved in the development of the model, so that their knowledge and experience could be capitalized on and the model could be made a useful tool for everyone.

Evolution of Stics processes in time

Since 1996, workshops have been held every two years to allow the hundred or so participants to discuss the anticipated developments.

Today, the model has been adapted for nearly 20 crop species, including annual, perennial, herbaceous and woody plants.

Moreover, 13 research, development or education partners have signed an agreement with INRA to collaborate on developing the model.

Over 50 co-authors worked together to write a book on the model to describe its conceptual framework and detail its formalizations.

Internationally, the model is currently recognized and being used in inter-model comparison projects such as AgMIP (the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project) and MACSUR (Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security).