Marie Launay, Françoise Ruget, Dominique Ripoche, Eric Justes (INRA)


Model category CSM
Plant part Whole_plant
Scale Field
Licence upon_request
Operating system MacOs, Windows, Linux
Programming language Fortran
Format of model inputs and outputs xml and text files
Species studied Generic-crops
Execution environment Console, Stand-alone application

Scientific article

An overview of the crop model STICS.
European Journal of Agronomy, 2003 View paper

Model description

STICS is a soil-plant simulation model, able to simulate the water, C and N balances of various types of crops, both annual and perennial, herbaceous and woody. STICS simulates crop functioning at a daily time step at the field scale for an average plant, with input variables related to climate, soil and crop management. The model describes crop growth based on the development of a foliar surface that intercepts light and converts it into biomass that is allocated to roots and three aboveground annual organs – fruits, leaves and annual stems – using a source-sink approach. It also describes the flow and distribution of water and nitrogen among the different soil and plant compartments and, consequently, related soil characteristics. Indices of nitrogen nutrition and of water comfort are calculated in water and nitrogen balance modules. Low values of those indices reduce leaf growth and biomass accumulation according to the model equations.

Some case studies

Some recent studies using STICS:

- Lungarska, A., Jayet, P.A., 2018. Impact of Spatial Differentiation of Nitrogen Taxes on French Farms' Compliance Costs. Environmental & Resource Economics 69, 1-21. (

- Plaza-Bonilla, D., Alvaro-Fuentes, J., Bareche, J., Pareja-Sanchez, E., Justes, E., Cantero-Martinez, C., 2018. No-tillage reduces long-term yield-scaled soil nitrous oxide emissions in rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystems: A field and modelling approach. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 262, 36-47. (

- Coucheney, E., Buis, S., Launay, M., Constantin, J., Mary, B., García de Cortázar-Atauri, I., Ripoche, D., Beaudoin, N., Ruget, F., Andrianarisoa, K.S., Le Bas, C., Justes, E., Léonard, J., 2015. Accuracy, robustness and behavior of the STICS soil–crop model for plant, water and nitrogen outputs: Evaluation over a wide range of agro-environmental conditions in France. Environmental Modelling & Software 64, 177-190. (

- Caubel, J., Launay, M., Ripoche, D., Gouache, D., Buis, S., Huard, F., Huber, L., Brun, F., Bancal, M.O., 2017. Climate change effects on leaf rust of wheat: Implementing a coupled crop-disease model in a French regional application. European Journal of Agronomy 90, 53-66. (