PCRANCH Version 2008
PCRANCH is a computer program for simulating
cow-calf herd dynamics over a long time horizon.
It is written in the C++ programming language
and runs under the Windows operating system.
PCRANCH consists of three components.
first component is the input interface which
consists of range (physical characteristics of
the farm), herd (animal numbers and type), block
(land allocation), weather (climate data), and
parameters (management) dialog boxes. The user
enters all input data in these dialog boxes.
second component is the run interface. It runs
the simulation engine, CCFARM, which is written
in the Java programming language as a separate
program and gets its input as a series of text
files from PCRANCH.
third component is the output interface which
consists of a series of reports and graphs,
generated from the output files of the CCFARM
difficulty for most research-oriented simulation
systems is its user interface which is written
to be used by the researcher and not by
ranchers. The PCRANCH software package addresses
this problem by decoupling CCFARM from its
research-oriented user interface and coupling it
with a friendlier rancher-oriented user
interface without modifying the original user
interface of the simulation program or reducing
its capabilities. This approach allows the
simulation program written in a different
programming language to be used by researchers
with its original user interface and at the same
time to be used by ranchers with the new user
interface written in another programming
language by a separate team of programmers. This
method has great potential for other
research-oriented simulation programs to make
them accessible by general users. Expected release date: Late 2008.