Cornelis T. De Wit
Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture 1984
Cornelis T. de Wit
Affiliation at the time of the award:
Agricultural University, The Netherlands
“for their innovative contributions to the quantitative understanding of soil-water and other environmental interactions influencing crop growth and yield”.
Professor Cornelis T. de Wit. With his innovative application of computer simulation models to the study of the environmental determination of crop production, he introduced a new and powerful approach to agricultural research. His individual contributions have encompassed the whole hierarchy of models from individual physical processes such as ‘transpiration, photosynthesis, respiration and competition, to whole crop models allowing the growth and yields of particular crops to be simulated and predicted for a given environment. This integrated systems approach to modelling crop production has been applied to an almost world-wide range of soils, climates and crops and has been used successfully as a method for studying the interactions between a crop and its environment with the object of increasing production at either the local or regional scale.
In coupling the names of Kirkham and de Wit, we believe that we have identified scientists who have been innovators in both theory and experiment and whose contributions to crop production systems have been both important and universal in nature.