Learn to model your own agroforestry system with this free Hi-sAFe model workshop

January 31, 2022

From 31 January - 2 February 2022, the French agricultural research centre INRAE will hold a free hybrid (online/physical) workshop to introduce and share how to use their Hi-sAFe v4 model. This model enables the simulation of tree and crop growth on the same area and their competition for natural resources such as light, water and nitrogen.  The model will be further developed under the AGROMIX project to make it more usable for farmers and support their  transition towards agroforestry practices and other regenerative farming approaches.  For this workshop the main objective is to introduce the model and explain how it works and how to use it.  While no previous skills in modelling are necessary to use the model, we recommend that participants are at ease with the R software (and enjoy computer frenzy).

Before registering for the workshop here, see below the provisional agenda, and learn how the Hi-sAFe model can be helpful for you:

What is Hi-sAFe?

Hi-sAFe is a 3D mechanistic simulation model representing tree and crop growth, considering light, water and nitrogen competition between trees and annual or perennial crops.

How can Hi-sAFe help me?

With Hi-sAFe you can model any type of agroforestry system, integrating any temperate crop varieties. Hi-sAFe provides a detailed account of all interactions between trees and crops in 3D, and the simulation can cover decades, from tree plantation to tree maturity. Hi-sAFe provides full budgets of carbon, nitrogen, and light for the system, facilitating the implementation of agroforestry systems.

Which crop and tree species are included?

The crop module is based on STICS and it can represent all the crops included in STICS: soft and durum wheat, maize, grassland (tall fescue + cocksfoot), soybean, sunflower, oilseed rape, barley, 6-row barley, sorghum, alfalfa, pea, tomato, lettuce, carrot, potato, sugar beet, grapevine, rice, banana, sugarcan.

Three tree species are available: hydrid walnut (nigra x regia), clonal poplar (average clone) and wild cherry.  Other species can of course be simulated, as long as there is sufficient data to parameterize their allometric relationships and root parameters.

How will AGROMIX use the Hi-sAFe model?

AGROMIX will use Hi-sAFe to assess the resilience of agroforestry systems to climate change. However, the tool can also be used to predict the performance of planned agroforestry systems and compare a variety of potential management options.

How can I participate in this workshop ?

The workshop will be from the 31st of January to 2nd February 2022 in Montpellier (France). Participants are encouraged to join the seminar in person (respecting the COVID-19 restrictions of course). However, participants can also join the workshop online through video conference (video link provided before the event). For online registrations see here.


The workshop’s tuition is free, and also is the Hi-sAFe model itself. This models is available for anyone to use, free of charge (after registration) here. However, participants joining the workshop in situ in Montpellier are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. For AGROMIX partners costs can be reimbursed through the project.

Trainers and contact

Additional information on the workshop and links to access it will be distributed some days before the event.

The trainers of the workshop are INRAE members: Marie Gosme, Christian Dupraz, Isabelle Lecomte, Nicolas Barbault, Lory Boutchakdjian.

For any additional information please contact: Marie Gosme (Marie.Gosme@inrae.fr)


Provisional Agenda of the workshop

Monday 31 January

10:00-10:30: roundtable of participants and teachers

10:30-12:00 (Marie): course 1: general presentation of Hi-sAFe (scene, cell, voxel, main processes considered, examples of outputs and results)

14:00-16:00 (Isabelle): checking installation of Hi-sAFe and Hi-sAFer on all participants’ computers.

16:00-17:00 (Christian): practical 1: Hi-sAFe scene creation

Tuesday 1 February

09:00-10:30 (Marie): course 2: presentation of Hi-sAFer: templates, virtual experiments, visualisation tools

10:30-12:30 (Marie): practical 2: using Hi-sAFer to prepare simulation folders and analyse results (case study: climate change in Restinclières)

14:00-15:30 (Christian): course 3: detailed presentation of Hi-sAFe: what can be tested with the model, explanation of output variables, demonstration of how to interpret the model's outputs

15:30-17:30 (Christian): practical 3: discussing hypotheses that can be tested with the model and that answer participant’s questions

Wednesday 2 February

09:00-10:00 (Isabelle): course 4: how to parameterise the model for a specific plot (soil + weather + plot description + crop and tree management)

10:00-11:00 (Nicolas): Simulating fruit trees with Hi-sAFe

11:00-12:00 (Lory and Nicolas): sharing first-hand experience on learning to use Hi-sAFe

Afternoon (for the participants that are present physically): visit of Restinclières agroforestry platform.

Trainers: Marie Gosme, Christian Dupraz, Isabelle Lecomte, Nicolas Barbault, Lory Boutchakdjian




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Dr. Sara Burbi - Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience - Coventry University, Ryton Gardens Campus, CV8 LG, UK
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