Abstract: Process-based, agricultural systems models have been in use over the last 40 years as tools to evaluate the agronomic, economic and environmental performance of farming systems. They are increasingly applied to problems of both a short-term (e.g. farm per- formance, crop production monitoring) and long-term (e.g. climate change issues, food security, environmental policy) nature. With this Thematic Issue we aim to capture the meth- odological, technical and application advances in agricultural sys- tems modelling and software, to reflect on the drivers of change, and suggest a research agenda for the future.
The research community embraced this Thematic Issue since its inception. Papers were initially solicited by an open call that attracted about eighty abstracts. From these more than fifty full- text manuscripts were submitted and subsequently evaluated by the guest editors and numerous reviewers. This issue presents the first part of the Thematic Issue that is comprised of fifteen man- uscripts, while a second part of the Thematic Issue will appear in 2015, together with a position paper on the current status and future prospects of agricultural systems modelling and software. We are grateful to all colleagues who supported the preparation of this Thematic Issue by submitting abstracts and papers. We are also in debt to all reviewers who provided their expert opinion to improve the quality of the submitted manuscripts.
The papers selected for the present issue cover only partially the state-of-the-art of agricultural modelling and software. They are complemented by the second part of this Thematic Issue (to appear in 2015), which includes a position and overview paper on the future of agricultural systems modelling and software.
D. Holzworth, I. N. Athanasiadis, S. Janssen, M. Donatelli, V. Snow, G. Hoogenboom, J. W. White, P. Thorburn, Thematic Issue on Agricultural Systems Modelling and Software -- Part I, Environmental Modelling and Software, 62:326, 2014, doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.11.003.