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Food & Climate
1. Plants and climate
- plants and environment
- distribution
- diseases
* Worksheet 1
* Worksheet 2
* Worksheet 3
2. The climate change issue
3. Drought in the Mediterranean

Food & Climate 


Worksheet: Plants and Climate

Sheet 3: Agriculture Simulation




Welcome to the Agriculture Simulation!

Please note that you might have a longer loading time of this page (400 kb)

The following simulation allows you to  till the fields of the farmer and to find out the yield of your crops.

First you can choose, what you would like to plant on each field. You either have to plant wheat (A), vegetables (B) or rice (C).

At the second step you decide, whether the fields have to be watered or not.

Finally you have to activate the random generator, which defines what the weather was like during that Spring (time before harvest). Therefore click on the green button at number 3 and click again to stop.

The fourth step is to click on the second green button and you get the yield per field and in total.

To restart the simulation, click the green button with the arrow facing backwards.

Exercise: Try different settings.

Find out when the fields yield well.




This is a ficticious model.

Our model represents reality in a limited way:

- only some important factors are included
(neither "extreme drought" nor "pests" nor "strikes" etc.)
- all results are reckoned in Model Currency
(not in Euro, and tonnes of yield are transfered into Currency)
- varying market prices are ignored
- the climate setting is mediterranean with hot and dry summers
(and not for example monsoon climate)
- and further restrictions

So what can you do with such a model?

- Test your hypotheses concerning growth conditions
of different plants.
- Test the degree of irrigation needed by various crops.
- Optimise your yield.


- Find out which product needs irrigation.

- Which product depends heavily on irrigation?

- Which product could also be planted without irrigation? Under what conditions?

The following table will help you to do different experiments in a systematic way:



animation by J. Heres & H. Schrettenbrunner




F1 = Field 1
F2 = Field 2
F3 = Field 3


A = wheat (production cost: 50)
B = lentil (production cost: 60)
C = rice (production cost: 1000)


=> fields NOT watered

=> fields watered (cost: 200 per field)


=> press twice random generator
     for weather conditions


=> shows the yield of each field and in total
      (in  Model Currency)


=> restarts the simulation


Correct or not correct?

After your experiments
you should be able to answer the following questions
about agriculture under the above mentioned restrictions
(mediterranean climate, limited factors, etc).

Click the green button, if you think the sentence is right;
choose the red button, if you think the statement is wrong.


1. You should plant rice on irrigated fields.

2. You must not irrigate the field if you plant wheat.

3. You should irrigate the field if you grow lentil.

4. If you plant rice you will have a good yield only if you irrigate the field.

5. Wheat does not yield more if you irrigate the field.

6. If you grow lentil you have a higher yield if you irrigate the field.

7. After a very dry Spring, the yield of wheat  is below average if not irrigated.

8. After a very dry Spring, the yield of rice on an irrigated field is below average.

9. After a very dry Spring, the yield of lentil on an irrigated field is below average.

10. If you have an average Spring, the yield of wheat will be good even without irrigation.



Make a list of products which in the mediterranean climate
need much water to grow well.

Make another list of plants which can do with little water.

Find plants which are well adapted to the climate of your country.

Give reasons why this is so.




Model vs reality

1. You might have wondered why the farmer does not only plant rice if rice yields so much?


- Some fields cannot be irrigated
(no water nearby, situation on a high plateau).

- Not enough labor force is at hand.


2. You might have wondered why the farmer plants wheat at all  if wheat yields so litte?


- Wheat does not necessarily need irrigation.

- If labor is scarce but mechanisation is possible,
and a large area is at disposition
then planting wheat is a good solution.



About this page:

- Author: H. Schrettenbrunner / J. Heres- University of Nürnberg - Germany
- scientific reviewing: Elmar Uherek
- educational reviewing: Dr. Schrettenbrunner / J. Heres
- last update: 2004-01-04




last updated 10.07.2005 14:52:33 | © ESPERE-ENC 2003 - 2013