FarmSim: an integrated crop – livestock model developed to analyse African smallholder farm systems

Submitted by joost.wolf on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 14:36
Program type
integrated crop – livestock model
Available since

FARMSIM consists of a crop-soil (FIELD), a livestock (LIVSIM) and a manure (HEAPSIM) module that are functionally integrated to allow capturing feedbacks between these identities at farm scale, as affected by farmers’ management decisions. FIELD simulates long-term changes in soil fertility (C, N, P and K), interactions between nutrients that determine crop production, and crop responses to management interventions such as mineral fertiliser and/or manure applications. Different fields within a farm represent combinations of crop types and sets of soil properties. Simulation of livestock productivity, growth and herd dynamics is done with LIVSIM, while nutrient cycling through manure is simulated with HEAPSIM.


For instructions on installing and running the model, please consult the user's guide under 'Download documents'.

Scale of application
Spatial resolution
Key outputs


  • Soil carbon and nutrient dynamics 
  • Crop yield


  • Cattle body weight
  • Milk production
  • Manure production


Time horizon
Time step of modeling
Required to run

R-version 3.0.0 or higher with add-on package 'abind' installed.

Required to develop

R-version 3.0.0 or higher with add-on package 'abind' installed and R-tools 2.15 or higher.

Database I/O
Background information

Mark T. van Wijk, Pablo Tittonell, Mariana C. Rufino, Mario Herrero, Cesare Pacini, Nico de Ridder, Ken E. Giller. Identifying key entry-points for strategic management of smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa using the dynamic farm-scale simulation model NUANCES-FARMSIM. 10.1016/j.agsy.2009.07.004

P. Tittonell, S. Zingore, M.T. van Wijk, M. Corbeels, K.E. Giller. Nutrient use efficiencies and crop responses to N, P and manure applications in Zimbabwean soils: Exploring management strategies across soil fertility gradients. 10.1016/j.fcr.2006.09.003



Applications & Use

Analyses of crop-livestock interactions in small-holder African farming systems.

Pablo Tittonell, Mariana Rufino, Mark van Wijk
WUR, Plant Production Systems, P.O. Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Date Version Title
2014.04.22 1.1 FarmSim
2014.04.22 1.1 FIELD
2014.04.22 1.1 LivSim