A Comparative Analysis of Global Cropping Systems Models and Maps

44 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2014

See all articles by Weston Anderson

Weston Anderson

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Liangzhi You

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Stanley Wood

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Ulrike Wood-Sichra

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Wenbin Wu

Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)

Date Written: February 1, 2014

Abstract

Agricultural practices have dramatically altered the Earth’s land cover, but the spatial extent and intensity of these practices is often difficult to catalogue. Cropland accounts for nearly 15 million square kilometers of Earth’s land cover — amounting to 12 percent of the planet’s ice-free land surface — yet information on the distribution and performance of specific crops is often available only through national or subnational statistics. Although remote-sensing products offer spatially disaggregated information, those currently available on a global scale are ill suited for many applications due to the limited separation of crop types within the area classified as cropland. Recently, however, the field has seen multiple independent efforts to incorporate the detailed information available from statistical surveys with supplemental spatial information to produce a spatially explicit global dataset specific to individual crops for the year 2000. Although these datasets provide analysts and decision makers with improved information on global cropping systems, the final global cropping maps differ from one another substantially. This study aims to explore and quantify systematic similarities and differences between four major global cropping systems products: the dataset of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000), the spatial production allocation model (SPAM), the global agroecological zone (GAEZ) dataset, and the M3 dataset developed by Monfreda, Ramankutty, and Foley. The analysis explores not only the final cropping systems maps but also the interdependencies of each product, methodological differences, and modeling assumptions, which will provide users with information vital for discerning between datasets in selecting a product appropriate for each intended application.

Keywords: farmland, cropping systems, yield, cartography, global cropland, harvested area, downscaling

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Weston and You, Liangzhi and Wood, Stanley and Wood-Sichra, Ulrike and Wu, Wenbin, A Comparative Analysis of Global Cropping Systems Models and Maps (February 1, 2014). IFPRI Discussion Paper 01327. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2405699 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2405699

Weston Anderson (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifpri.org

Liangzhi You

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Stanley Wood

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Ulrike Wood-Sichra

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Wenbin Wu

Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) ( email )

No.12 Zhongguancun South St.
Beijing, 100081
China

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