Why We Do It

The purpose of this project is to provide quantitative answers to questions that farmers commonly ask such as what is going to be the yield this year, how much nitrogen is in the soil today, do I have enough soil water for the next few days, what if I had used more nitrogen, planted more seeds, gotten more rain.

We anticipate this information will help farmers both with decision-making and with understanding what is going on in the dynamic and complex system of a corn or soybean field.

Many commercial products that aim to predict field processes and advise farmers are becoming available, but the capabilities and dependability of these products are uncertain.  It is our objective to provide a free and transparent platform that uses the best available technology to explore the usefulness and reliability of using computer models to inform field practices. 

Our overall goal is to develop a widely-available cropping systems forecast and evaluation platform to (1) provide real-time agronomic information and yield predictions during the growing season; (2) benchmark production, economic and environmental performance of representative cropping systems and provide what-if scenario analysis at the end of the season; (3) explore different approaches to accurately forecasting yields, to ground-truth predictions, and to improve the science behind predictive tools.

FACTS is an ongoing project developed to forecast and evaluate real-time soil-crop dynamics in specific ISU fields. Predictions and measurements will be frequently updated as new information becomes available during the growing season. The project investigators and Iowa State University are not responsible for extrapolations made by individuals to other fields. Information from this website can be used for presentations without further permission if used in its entirety and credit is given to the Iowa State University FACTS project. Information from this website cannot be used in publications or other model improvement activities without prior permission of the project investigators.