Main Contacts for Initiative

Enli Wang (CSIRO), Julianne Lilley (CSIRO), Jing Wang (CAU)


Brief Description of Activity

The AgMIP-Canola Initiative was launched in 2015, with the goal to identify current canola growth models and reference datasets across the world for model evaluation, inter-comparison and improvement. The key objectives are to identify knowledge gaps, recommend improvements, and produce multi-model assessment of canola yield under future climate change in major regions of the world.


Overview of participants

19 scientists from 6 countries (Australia, China, Germany, Italy, Canada, USA) with 10 models participated in Phase I. One new registration after completion of Phase I.

Current Research Focus

Inter-comparison of Canola simulation models was completed.

Phase II was designed to focus on model improvement, but has not yet started.
AgMIP-Canola Phase I was completed in 2016.


Recent Papers/Reports

Wang E, He D, Wang J et al. How reliable are current crop models for simulating growth and seed yield of canola across global sites and under future climate change? Submitted to Global Change Biology.


Recent Noteworthy Finding

1) Models for canola are less well developed/validated, therefore, large uncertainty exists in simulations.
2) Multi-model ensemble could not reduce simulation error below measurement error, though reduced uncertainty.
3) Ensemble median/mean not necessarily the best predictor.
4) Model calibration needs data from contrasting environments.
5) Report on AgMIP-Canola Phase I results & implications
6) Communication with other AgMIP modeling groups
7) Decision on AgMIP-Canola Phase II (stop/go)







Prior Updates



Canola (rapeseed) has become a major crop for production of edible oil around the world, and plays an essential role for international food security. It also serves as an important break crop to suppress root diseases of cereal crops (e.g. in Australia), and is used as a source of biodiesel (e.g., in EU). In spite of the importance of the crop and the breeding efforts in the past decades, canola yield remains low and variable in many regions of the world. While crop modelling has become an efficient means to benchmark yield potential and identify yield gaps and constraints, only a few canola growth models exist and they have not been tested across different environments. The aim of this initiative is to develop protocols for inter-comparison and improvement of canola models, and to use a multi-model approach for assessment of canola productivity across different environments and under future climate change.



  1. Identify current canola growth models or crop models that are used to simulate canola
  2. Develop protocols and identify reference data sets for evaluation and inter-comparison of canola models
  3. Identify knowledge gaps and recommend improvements in modelling development, growth, grain yield and grain quality of canola crops
  4. Produce multi-model assessment of yield potential of canola crops in major production regions of the world
  5. Conduct multi-model assessment of the impacts of climate change on canola production



The AgMIP canola initiative is primarily targeted to crop models that can simulate the phenological development, biomass growth, grain yield and grain quality of canola crop in response to environmental and management changes. They can be process-based or statistical/empirical models as long as they can provide insight into how canola productivity is affected by climate, soil or management conditions.

At this stage, we are gathering interests, information about models, modellers and available datasets. Protocols are being developed together with identification of the reference datasets for model validation and inter-comparison. We plan to organize a meeting at the 5th AgMIP Global Workshop on 25-28 February 2015 in Gainesville, Florida, USA.



AgMIP Canola Initiative will be led by Dr. Enli Wang (CSIRO, Australia) in collaboration with Dr Jing Wang (China Agricultural University). Dr. Enli Wang can be contacted at

Click here to indicate your interest as a canola modeler or canola data provider, and whether you will come to the AgMIP Global Workshop February 25-28, 2015.