Impact model: CGMS-WOFOST


WOFOST (WOrld FOod STudies) is a simulation model for the quantitative analysis of the growth and production of annual field crops. It is a mechanistic model that explains crop growth on the basis of the underlying processes, such as photosynthesis, respiration and how these processes are influenced by environmental conditions.

With WOFOST, you can calculate attainable crop production, biomass, water use, etc. for a location given knowledge about soil type, crop type, weather data and crop management factors (e.g. sowing date). WOFOST has been used by many researchers over the World and has been applied for many crops over a large range of climatic and management conditions. Moreover, WOFOST is implemented in the Crop Growth Monitoring System which is used operationally to monitor arable crops in Europe and to make crop yield forecasts for the current growing season.

WOFOST originated in the framework of interdisciplinary studies on world food security and on the potential world food production by the Center for World Food Studies (CWFS) in cooperation with the Wageningen Agricultural University, Department of Theoretical Production Ecology (WAU-TPE) and the DLO-Center for Agrobiological Research and Soil Fertility (AB-DLO), Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Currently, the WOFOST model is maintained and further developed by Alterra in co-operation with the Plant Production Systems Group of Wageningen University ( and the Agri4Cast unit of the Joint Research Centre in Italy (

CGMS-WOFOST is one of the 14 models following the ISIMIP2a protocol which form the base of simulations for the ISIMIP2a agricultural sector outputs; for a full technical description of the ISIMIP2a Simulation Data from Agricultural Sector, see this DOI link:

Information for the model CGMS-WOFOST is provided for the simulation rounds shown in the tabs below. Click on the appropriate tab to get the information for the simulation round you are interested in.

Person responsible for model simulations in this simulation round
Allard de Wit:, 0000-0002-5517-6404, Wageningen University (Netherlands)
Additional persons involved: Allard de Wit
Output Data
Experiments: historical
Climate Drivers: None
Date: 2016-02-10
Basic information
Model Version: WOFOST 7.1 implemented in PCSE 5.1
Model Output License: CC BY 4.0
Reference Paper: Main Reference: Allard de Wit, Hendrik Boogaard, Davide Fumagalli, Sander Janssen, Rob Knapen, Daniel van Kraalingen, Iwan Supit, Raymond van der Wijngaart, Kees van Diepen, et al. 25 years of the WOFOST cropping systems model. Agricultural Systems,168,154-167,2019
Reference Paper: Other References:
Spatial aggregation: regular grid
Horizontal resolution: 0.5°x0.5°
Temporal resolution of input data: climate variables: daily
Temporal resolution of input data: co2: annual
Temporal resolution of input data: land use/land cover: annual
Temporal resolution of input data: soil: constant
Input data
Observed atmospheric climate data sets used: WATCH-WFDEI
Climate variables: tasmax, tas, tasmin, wind, rsds, prsn, pr
Was a spin-up performed?: No
Management & Adaptation Measures
Management: First, heat units (TSUM) from sowing to anthesis and from anthesis to maturity were computed for each grid and year from the AgMERRA climate data set by using the sowing dates and harvest dates as provided by ISIMIP. These 30 TSUM values for each grid were then averaged to obtain the phenological parameters need to run the model for each grid. Next, gridded model simulations were carried out by using the ISIMIP prescribed sowing dates and the phenological parameters found in the first step.
Key model processes
Evapo-transpiration: Penman–Monteith