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Revision as of 16:52, 8 February 2019 by Raymond (talk | contribs) (Planting date Rule)
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In order to correctly simulate the crop growth reliable, realistic sowing dates and cycle length are fundamental. Moreover in tropical and sub-tropical regions like South-China two or especially tree cropping cycles are possible. In these regions the knowledge of real crop rotation and the suitable crop calendar (e.g. for early and double season late rice) is fundamental for an accurate yield forecast.

One possible option to find such data is the usage of COPdate (Savin et al. 2007). COPdate stands for Climatically Optimal Planting date. The concept of finding optimal planting dates based on climate data, is implemented in the oracle COPdate package. By running the package for all historical years, the earliest and latest optimal sowing date can be found (sowing date window). By processing a specific year, the optimal sowing date for that year is found. In the operational MCYFS mainly the functions find_sowing_date (for a single year) and sowing_dates_years (for multiple years) are used. Both functions find a sowing date for a specific combination of crop, grid and year, according expert rules.


To be able to run the package in parallel, it is connected to a tasks administration system that should be initialized before running the find_sowing_date and sowing_dates_years functions.

Required objects inside the oracle schema where the COPdata is applied (e.g. CGMS14RUK):

  • COPDATE package
  • MRSDATES package
  • COP_WINDOWS table
  • INIT_TASKS procedure
  • TASKLIST view
  • ADD_PROCESS_LOG synonym
  • SIGNALS synonym
  • TASK synonym
  • TD_KEY_VALUE synonym
  • TD_KEY_VALUES synonym
  • TASKSET sequence
  • PROCESS_COP_OSD_BLK procedure

Required objects inside the assisting oracle schema for administering task (e.g. RUKMAN):

  • SIGNALS package
  • TASK package
  • TD_KEY_VALUE types
  • TD_KEY_VALUES types
  • ADD_PROCESS_LOG procedure


To initialize tasks for COPdate, the INIT_TASKS procedure is used. Five or six arguments are required:

To initialize a single year:

  • task (= cop-sd)
  • initial status (= pending)
  • crop
  • year
  • regime (winter or spring)

To initialize multiple years:

  • task (= cop-sd)
  • initial status (= pending)
  • crop
  • start year
  • end year
  • regime (winter or spring)

If start- and end year are NULL then all the years in the crop_calendar will be initialized for the crop and grid(s). If start- or end year is NOT NULL, then this value will be used as start- resp. end year of the range of years; the other value will be derived from the crop_calendar. If both start- and end year are NOT NULL these values will be used as start- resp. end year of the range of years; only this range will be processed. The start- and end year will be included in the range to be processed. The above procedure fills the TASK_LIST table in the assisting schema (e.g. RUKMAN) which transfers the tasks via views to the various TASKLIST views in the main schema (e.g. CGMS14RUK).

Planting date Rule

Region specific expert rules have been defined which estimate climatically optimal sowing date for different crops, and initial soil water content. In the original COPdate packages, the rules were elaborated from agronomical practices in the former Soviet Union, Central Asian and non European Mediterranean regions covering 30 countries among major producers such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Egypt. Two main crop groups are distinguished, sub-divided into a total of 5 groups:

  • sowing depending on precipitation and/or air temperature
    • winter crops
    • spring sown crops
    • autumn sown crops
  • sowing independent from meteorological circumstances
    • in chain sowing
    • others

Rules for winter crops

The rules apply for winter crops such as wheat, barley and rapeseed

  1. Average daily temperature < threshold temperature
  2. Subsoil should not be too wet
  3. Subsoil should contain sufficient water

The first step consists of determining the sowing window from at least 15 years of meteo data. For each year the day is selected on which TSUM of 500 ºC is reached, starting from December 31st going backwards, and only summing degrees above 3 ºC (TBASE). The window and each grid cell the sum of positive air temperatures, above 3 º Celsius (Tbase), and not going back further than September 1st. The end of sowing window is the latest day found over all years. The start of the sowing window is 1 month before the end. The results are stored in table.

Rules for spring sown crops

Rules for autumn sown crops

Rules for in chain and others

For the “in chain” and “others” group no rules were elaborated.

Finding the planting dates

To find optimal planting dates, the functions PROCESS_COP_OSD_BLK for a single year, or PROCESS_COP_SD_ALLYEARS_BLK for multiple years are called. These procedures pick up tasks with phase Pending and of a certain age. They are processed one by one at a time. When picking up a task, its phase is updated to In progress. In case of an error, the phase is updated to Error. When a sowing date is found, the phase is updated to Resulted and the found sowing date is updated in the CROP_CALENDARS table. When no sowing date is found, the phase is update to No result and a new tasks is created with phase Pending. When no more tasks of a certain age and with phase Pending are found, the processing is aborted.

The use and administration of the tasks allows that the COPdate can be called in parallel since only pending tasks of a certain age are processed (thus ignoring just newly created tasks).