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

Submitted by joost.wolf on
    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
    Add new entry (model, video)...
    Date Version Title
    2014.04.22 1.1 FarmSim
    2014.04.22 1.1 FIELD
    2014.04.22 1.1 LivSim