Kees van Diepen has been computer modelling for a long time: initially, just crop growth, then, potential food production, and finally, harvest predictions. As well as his work on models, he wanted to talk about the nerve wracking business of tendering.
Van Diepen became involved in modelling agricultural production in the early 1980s, when working at ISRIC’s predecessor, Wageningen’s Soil Science Museum. He continued at CABO (the Centre for Agrobiological Research), then home of the research group of the doyen of theoretical crop modelling, Professor C.T. de Wit. At that time, crop growth models were scaled up to make it possible to estimate the productivity of soils and, ultimately, the maximum feasible world food production.
Scaled-up models were also used as the basis for forecasting the actual production in a given year. For this, extra variables had to be input, such as the weather. One of the projects Van Diepen worked on in that context was a system using meteorological data and the emerging techniques of remote sensing as a basis for predicting drought in Africa and its impact on world food production.
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Recent projects and publications by Kees van Diepen: