Release notes FarmTree Tool

Released on 23-05-2024

New features:

  • The order of result tabs is updated 
  • Team users are sorted alphabetically when sharing a scenario  
  • Extra are variables are added to the assumptions table 
  • Costs and labour by activity (type) graphs are added 
  • Initial costs can be assigned as investment costs or running costs in the modifications 
  • In the economics tab the investment costs NPV is separated from the running costs NPV
  • Because of the updated NPV calculations, the temporary growth pause for perennials planted in year 0 is removed: all plants planted in year 0 will also grow in year 0 

Bug fixes:

  • Fix for costs per labour day calculations
  • Harvest in request in October were done in January, this is now fixed
  • Fix for runtime error when a scenario contains only components with no labour


Released on 15-04-2024:

New features:

  • The lay-out of the interface was improved: 
    • Colours of export buttons are adapted to differentiate more between types of output: time series output or scenarios
    • More space for the labels of select fields
  • A tree calculator was added to help with the plants/ha and planting distances
  • The carbon balance calculations per single tree excludes soil organic matter
  • For each product, the maximum harvest per labour day was added to the modifications 
  • Thinning, harvesting, pruning an coppicing is more flexible 
  • Most legacy scenarios are converted automatically to be compatible with the new harvest and thinning fields, only for thinning this is not always possible 
  • Fields with months and years have a new format (comma is replaced by semi-colon is the most important change) 
  • Product data is added to the Assumptions table 
  • Problems with Excel exports are fixed 
  • All teams can share scenarios with the Farmtree Support user 
  • Balance per labour day graphs are updated and visible again 

 Bug fixes:

  • A bug in the carbon balance calculations for perennials is fixed.
  • Perennials would grow too fast when they space restrictions are lifted, this is fixed 


Released on 18-03-2024:

New features: 

  • The radiation interception algorithm is improved for perennials.
  • Natural tree height and tree topping height are added to the modifications. 
  • When an old scenario is used with a requested cover instead of plants/ha, the cover is converted to plants/ha. The user gets a message with a request to manually update the scenario. These legacy scenarios with a cover for perennials show an empty field for the plants/ha.

Fixes:

  • There is a fix for the tree height being at its max at planting 
  • There is a fix for N-fixing perennials: they were adding NPK to the soil even when their growth was paused in year 0. 
  • The tool can now handle perennials with a time to canopy closure of less than 6 months. 
  • Thinning now not only affects cover and number of trees per hectare, but also the average planting distance. This is important when perennials are planted at a distance shorter than their natural crown diameter.
  • Fix for costs added for crops even when there is no space to plant them. 
  • Fix for root biomass appearing as above ground biomass in the graphs. 


Released on 22-02-2024

New features:

  • The growth algorithm for perennials has significantly changed to improve the projections for different planting distances and crown shapes. 
  • A new indicator/graph is added to show the increased radiation interception when perennials are planted close together. This increased light interception may impact growth in the lower vegetation layers.
  • Secondary harvesting is done automatically: harvesting branches also removes leaves, and harvesting stems also removes  branches, fruit, leaves and other products.  
  • The distinction between full harvest and interim harvest is removed from the interface. A full harvest is always done at the end of the economic life cycle. 
  • New business indicators/graphs are added: totals of costs and wages, wages per component, total CO2e stock, total yields. 


Released on 25-01-2024

New features:

  • Interception loss is improved. 
  • An available water capacity (water retention) graph is added. 
  • Products are renamed: in the biomass graphs plant parts are shown and in the yield graphs the product names (for fresh or dry products) are shown. 
  • The user can modify the dry matter fraction of products. It affects the fresh product yield (and not the dry product yield).



Released on 12-01-2024

New features:

  • Indian Rupee added to the currencies

Bug fixes:

  • Excel export fixed
  • Fix for maintenance labour and costs being too high for annual crops
  • Product 4 was added to the products in the interface of a perennial or annual
  • Fix for cover unexpected reduction to zero for some perennials


Released on 20-12-2023

New features:

  • For perennials there is a new way to select the planting density. The number of trees can be entered as before, but to change the planting density, the user should edit the planting distance and row width in the edit options of the selected perennial species. 
  • Yield graphs no longer show products that are left in the field. For a product to show in the yield graphs it must not only have a price greater than 0 but now it must also be (partly) removed at harvest. 
  • For perennials the crown diameter (natural and standard) is added to the drop down of perennial species. 
  • Graph data can now also be exported for monthly data, before this release only yearly data were available.


Bug fixes:

  • The root depth conversion from monthly values to yearly values is fixed. 
  • If additional rainfall was saved in a scenario, it was not imported correctly. This is now fixed. 


Released on 06-12-2023

  • The "Suitability" tab was renamed to "Limiting factors". 
  • The way to add perennials to a plot has changed: instead of entering a requested cover, the user can enter a number of trees for 1 ha and a planting density. From that information a resulting cover is calculated. Old scenarios still work and will show the cover fractions but that entry is no longer editable.
  • New variables are added to the Assumptions table.
  • An economics tab is added to the output graphs, containing financial indicators. 
  • The user can manually add the annual precipitation to the scenario. This is treated as the 'reference precipitation' and a correction factor is applied to all the precipitation data from the selected Copernicus climate data. This preserves the monthly patterns and the climate change pattern. 
  • To be able to distinguish between investment costs in year 0, and recurring costs in the years after, perennials are by default planted in year 0, but only start growing in year 1. Annual crops are by default planted from year 1 onwards (but of course the user can overrule this). Inputs that are one time investments are by default applied in year 0, but inputs with recurring costs are applied from year 1 onwards. 
  • A link to the Release blog is added to the navigation menu. 


Released on 02-11-2023

New features:

  • The IPM tab name has changed to Biotic factors
  • Pollination is added to the Biotic factors graphs
  • Hydraulic redistribution and Root depth graphs are added under the Hydrology tab.  
  • Root depth of trees now grows at same rate as the tree height. This affects water uptake.
  • A biodiversity indicator is added to the Vegetation graphs 
  • Two tabs are added to the navigation menu: links to the Comparison tool and to the Instruction videos  
  • After logging in, the user lands on the Tool page instead of the Instructions page  
  • An extra year is added to the graphs  
  • For the water retention capacity calculations, SOM (soil organic matter) is distributed over the soil layers. 
  • Suitability to full sun and excess rain graphs are removed. They no longer serve their purpose because of improved algorithms for evaporation reduction and the water model.  

Bug fixes:

  • Fix for NPK influx of fruit (P1) left on the plot being too high  


Released on 09-10-2023

New features:

  • Integrated Pests Management is added: it is only visible for teams with an IPM subscription and must be switched on in the Farm management section 
  • German is added to the available languages
  • A table with financial indicators such as Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return is added, but it is only for teams with a subscription for Financial indicators  

Bug fixes:

  • Crops that had an economic life cycle that happened to be equal to the length of the growing season in temperate climates, were not gaining any biomass. This is now fixed.


Released on 06-09-2023

New features:

  • The order of the Input cover drop down is reversed, full cover is now default.
  • The lowest possible value for altitude was lowered from -200m to -500m.
  • The lay out of the Assumptions table was updated.
  • The influence of temperature on the overall suitability is less severe than it was before.

Bug fixes:

  • The production of mulch by plants and the root biomass was calculated as if the plant was planted with 100% cover. The result was that NPK-influx, water retention capacity and N-fixing may have been overrated (depending on the requested planting cover). This is now corrected.
  • Online scenario storage: fix for error when saving nameless scenario for the first time.


Released on 07-07-2023

New features:

  • The climate data grid is visible on the map (if "show climates on map" is selected in the Plot Settings).
  • For a plant, the agro-ecological zone (AEZ) for temperature is visible in the assumptions. 
  • Suitability graphs are simplified: all graphs only show the suitability in the growing season, except for the all-season-temperature suitability.

Bug fixes:

  • fix for space restrictions for crops not showing in the space restrictions graph (even though they were applied in the cover) 
  • fix for the Excel Export 
  • fix for products showing up in the yield graphs when they should not 


Released on 14-06-2023

New features:

Climate

  • The climate data is now retrieved from a climate database (Copernicus) that covers the world. It uses coordinates from the plot location, which the user can select on the map. However, the resolution is around 250 x 250 km. 
  • The reference climates are still available.
  • The user can select a climate change scenario, ranging from 'no climate change' to 'worst case climate change'.
  • The climate model now used from the Copernicus database is more sensitive to changes in the atmosphere than before.
  • Apart from selecting a polygon on the map, the user can enter plot coordinates manually

Seasons

  • Start and end of growing seasons now depend on both the plant data as well as the weather.
  • The tool is adapted for temperate climates with growing seasons dependent on temperature and solar radiation.
  • As a result the default planting months for annuals, which depend on the growing seasons have changed since the previous version of the tool. The default timing for planting annuals in non-temperate climates is dependent on rainfall and PET. Planting of perennials is still in January, as it used to be. 
  • By default the main product of perennials in temperate climates is harvested the end of the growing season, and one month later the leaves are shed.
  • Default moments of harvesting of products of perennials can be adapted manually in the modifications drop down.
  • Seasonal suitability and seasonal vegetation cover graphs ignore the suitability or cover outside of the growing season.
  • Deciduous trees lose their leaves at the end of the growing season, reducing their canopy cover. This canopy cover is restored at the start of the next growing season. 
  • In a dormant state (i.e. off-season) the NPK and water need of deciduous trees is zero. 

Interface

  • Online scenario storage is available, except under the free subscription. 
  • Plot scenarios can no longer be exported in JSON format (but JSON formats can still be imported). 
  • A feedback link is added to the top menu.
  • Users with a free subscription can no longer download all data.

Other changes and fixes

  • By default, NPK containing inputs like fertilizer or compost are applied every month, so that would mean 12 splits by default. 
  • The price for a product is by default valid for the fresh product, but can be changed to be calculated for the dry product. 
  • Fix for ET reduction: the requested cover is now taken into account.
  • There is a bug fix for financial graphs sometimes being empty. This happened sometimes when a plot was overcrowded before all species were planted. 
     

Released on 31-05-2023

new features:

  • The irrigation tick box is moved to the modifications and renamed to "reduce water need to zero" 
  • The inputs "Irrigation drip" and "Irrigation sprinker" can be added, with effect on the water content of the soil. But they can only have running costs (for initial costs use "Irrigation infrastructure & maintenance") 
  • Revised calculation for leaching

bug fixes:

  • fix for evapo-transpiration reduction being too high for shade trees with lower cover
  • fix for initial costs and initial labour calculation


Released on 29-03-2023

new features:

  • online scenario storage: added search function and after scenario selection it first opens as read-only (limited access)
  • added salinity graphs to new Salinity tab (limited access)
  • crop planting month stays consistent even if the changing climate changes the start of the growing season
  • added General Information: ability to store extra plot description fields (limited access)
  • the button "Export projections as CSV/Excel" is now visible for clients, but the contents get filtered according to the client's view rights
  • added new graphs "growth temperatures" and "survival temperatures"
  • new calculation for temperature suitability

bug fixes:

  • fix bug for initial labour and costs at reduced cover


Released on 01-03-2023

new features:

  • the date of the currency rate is stored in the plot scenario, so exchange rates are conserved for stored plot scenarios
  • new hydrology graphs
  • new ways to calculate the water and temperature suitability
  • plants can suffer damage and even die from drought and poor temperature conditions
  • ability to modify the existing name suffix of plants and inputs
  • option to store plot scenarios online and share them with team members (depends on subscription)

bug fixes:

  • when the thinning/harvest interval is modified to become zero, the changes are now saved properly into the plot scenario
  • the DBH (diameter at breast height) graph now shows even when the suitability for a perennial is very low


Released on 25-01-2023

new features:

  • highlight number of warning messages
  • new graphs for nutrients (NPK)
  • enhanced colour difference in graphs
  • new tab names and redistribution of graphs under the tabs
  • graph summary
  • hovering over a graph only shows numbers greater than 0.05
  • addition of CRUs per plot and CO2 revenue per plot graphs
  • store the dataset name/id in the downloaded scenario
  • automatically switch to the correct dataset (if available) when running a stored scenario
  • added pruning effect on cover
  • added copy row button for tree/crop/input selection
  • added link to ecoregions
  • added the option for specifying planting months and years for crops
  • added the option for specifying applying months and years for inputs
  • the number of fertiliser splits can be modified
  • extra options to modify properties of trees, crops and inputs
  • graphs x-axis start at year 0 but month 1
  • for each graph a button is added for showing information, but the information is still very limited - will be improved soon

fixes:

  • fix for currency conversion problems in the graph data download (CSV and Excel)
  • pruning rhythm visible in assumptions
  • reduce economic lifetime for crops to 11 months max to prevent overlapping crop seasons
  • fix for plot plan elements overflowing when window width is small


Released on 28-11-2022

  • harvesting all products of a plant takes place at end of the economic life cycle, even when the life cycle is shorter than the harvest rhythm
  • ignore the harvest rhythm for roots and always harvest roots at the end of the economic life cycle
  • input cover % can be customized
  • a scale indication was added to the map
  • a loading indication added to import buttons
  • the ability to specify months of fertiliser application was added
  • a fix for wind erosion was done (reasonable tree cover should reduce the wind erosion to zero, but it did not)
  • trees are planted in January again, and not at the beginning of the growing season (NB this means that if they need fertiliser, the month of application must be set to 1)
  • modification options were added to products for burn-at-harvest and remove-at-harvest
  • a new carbon graph was added under the Carbon tab: adjustment factor for baseline CO2e removal
  • a new graph for erosion mitigation was added under the Ecology tab
  • new currencies were added: the Peruvian Nuevo Sol and the Colombian Peso


Released on 31-10-2022

  • plot selection on the map shows the area and its mid-point
  • for the mid-point of the selected area, soil data from SoilGrids.org is made available (with the exception of soil salinity)
  • map plot boundaries are stored in the scenario
  • better timing for planting and application of inputs
  • improvement of auto-scaling and data export in the comparison tool
  • upgrade of nutrient model
  • fix for missing water erosion at steep slopes
  • possibility for FarmTree to customize the use interface for client teams
  • fix for inverting x-axis when panning graphs out of range
  • new graph for temperature suitability
  • new lay out for tool interface
  • tooltip explanations added for editable properties of trees, crops and inputs


Released on 03-10-2022

  • forestry graphs are visible again (but still in calibration phase)
  • user can select whether wages and CO2-revenue are included in the balance calculations
  • a selection of assumptions on trees, crops and inputs has been made visible
  • for a plot scenario several properties of trees, crops and inputs can be edited and stored in the corresponding scenario download file
  • the scenario can be exported in both a CSV format as well as a JSON format
  • security certificates are implemented
  • new graph for space restrictions
  • all graphs start at year 0 instead of year 1, to be in line with the project start year
  • for trees a maximum number of life cycles can be entered (default values mimic the legacy tool)
  • for crops and inputs a start year and a maximum number of years on the plot can be entered  (default values mimic the legacy tool)
  • user receives feedback (messages) on the plot scenario when necessary


Released on 06-09-2022

  • the forestry graphs are hidden, data is too unreliable


Released on 31-08-2022

New features:

  • new graphs for the carbon tab: 
    • biomass-end-of-year stock
    • CO2e balance per species
  • new forestry graphs (all in TEST phase, outcomes unreliable!): 
    • height, 
    • number of trees per hectare, 
    • stem biomass, 
    • stem density, 
    • stem volume, 
    • stem surface
    • diameter at breast height (DBH)
  • improved thinning calculations
  • export graph data not only as CSV but also as Excel file
  • some small lay out improvements
  • hide settings that are not (yet) used in the model calculations

Bug fixes:

  • fix calculation of period of optimal production for the main product (e.g. fruit) of trees
  • fix for calculation of the reduction of evapotranspiration by trees in dry climates


Released on 2022-07-16

New features:

  • Franc CFA (XOF) as currency
  • tree height graph
  • yield per product category graphs
  • carbon pools graph
  • possibility to select a project start year for carbon sequestration calculations

Bug fixes:

  • add missing info to biomass per species graph download
  • add missing rainfall bars to the water balance graph


Released on 2022-07-04

New features:

  • faster loading of the tool
  • French translations added
  • output graphs translations added (except for names of species and inputs)
  • the tool introduction page is translated
  • privacy policy added
  • when identical tree species are planted at different times, they show as different species in the graphs
  • graph data can be downloaded per graph to a CSV file
  • extra information on each graph can be downloaded
  • the list of trees, crops and inputs in the drop-down menu is sorted in alphabetical order 
  • possibility to go back to default values for settings


Released on 2022-06-23

New features:

  • users can register and log in with their own e-mail address
  • extra graphs and viewing options for the comparison of the results from different plot scenarios 
  • perform landscape analysis by running multiple plots in batch (access for internal users only)
  • toggle between Tree cover % and Trees per hectare
  • added Spanish translations for input (translations of output will be added in the next release)
  • feedback to user if input is invalid
  • synchronization of scaling in comparison tool

For this June 2022 release the entire FarmTree Model code was analysed and refactored for increased maintainability and stability.


2022-03-31

New features:

  • choice of language and currency in the toolbar
  • more accurate climate data, retrieved from the Copernicus satellite (https://climate.copernicus.eu/)
  • possibility to export and import a scenario design for re-use
  • compare two or more graphs by uploading them in the compare results page
  • extra graphs and time series: CO2e balance, weather, suitability to full sun exposure
  • improved modeling of the available water in the soil
  • graph colours based on (plant) names for easier comparison of outcomes
  • vegetation layer names compliant with scientific literature