Global data set of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000)
A data set of monthly growing areas of 26 irrigated and rainfed crops was developed and related crop calendars for 402 spatial units were compiled. The selection of the crops consisted of all major food crops including regionally important ones (wheat, rice, maize, barley, rye, millet, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower, potatoes, cassava, sugar cane, sugar beet, oil palm, rape seed/canola, groundnuts/peanuts, pulses, citrus, date palm, grapes/vine, cocoa, coffee), major water-consuming crops (cotton), and unspecified other crops (other perennial crops, other annual crops, fodder grasses). The data set refers to the period 1998-2002 and has a spatial resolution of 5 arc-minutes by 5 arc-minutes which is about 9.2 km by 9.2 km at the equator.
It is the first time that a global data set distinguishing growing areas of irrigated and rainfed crops was created at this spatial resolution. The data set is consistent to the irrigated area statistics of the AQUASTAT programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and to version 4.0.1 of the Global Map of Irrigation Areas (GMIA). At the cell-level it was tried to maximise consistency to total cropland extent and harvested crop areas provided by the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The data set can be used for global and continental-scale studies on food security and water use. In the future, it will be improved, e.g. with a better spatial resolution of crop calendars and an improved crop distribution algorithm.
The development of monthly growing area grids and related crop calendars for irrigated crops is documented in Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 06. The development of the monthly growing area grids and related crop calendars for rainfed (and irrigated) crops is documented in a paper published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles. Further details on data quality, updated data sources, and crop calendars for rainfed and irrigated crops for each unit are documented in Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 09. The complete data set including both rainfed and irrigated crops, with 5 arc-minutes and aggregated 30 arc-minutes resolution, is available for download in different formats at our data download page.
A similar dat set with start and end of cropping periods for 19 major crops, but without the distinction of irrigated and rainfed crops, is available at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment of the University of Wisconsin at Madison at the following link. This data set uses sources similar or identical to those used in MIRCA2000. In contrast to MIRCA2000, it also specifies cropping periods for oats, sweet potatoes, and yams which are contained in the MIRCA2000 "other annual crops" class.
Project history and documentation
The current version has been prepared within the framework of the research project entitled "Consistent assessment of global green, blue and virtual water fluxes in the context of food production: regional stresses and worldwide teleconnections" funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). Publications and working reports are listed below.
Version 1.1 updated documentation (2011): Full documentation of data quality and scale issues, updated data sources for crop calendars for irrigated crops, and crop calendars for rainfed and irrigated crops for each unit are found in Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 09.
Version 1.1 bugfixes (2011): The Cropping Periods List at 5 arc-minute resolution had incorrect values for longitudes (increased by 1/12 or 0.083333) while column numbers were correct. This error has been fixed on 18 March 2011.
Version 1.1 complete (2009): Data for rainfed and irrigated crops available since 02 September 2009.
Now the rainfed data are also available for download, in addition to irrigated crops. Also additional products and auxiliary files (e.g. grid cell area) are available for download now. The development of the complete MIRCA2000 data set including both rainfed and irrigated crops is described in a paper published online on 13 March 2010 in Global Biogeochemical Cycles.
Version 1.1 (2008): First revision of the initial version available since 29 May 2008.
This version was generated by implementing a bugfix to ensure consistency of two main input data sets indicating cropland extent (Ramankutty et al., 2008) and harvested crop area (Monfreda et al., 2008). In a number of grid cells located mainly along coast lines or inland water bodies there was harvested crop area but NODATA-values in the cropland extent data set. To fix this inconsistency it was decided to remove the NODATA-values in the cropland extent grid and to create new cropland extent by using the reported harvested crop areas and the average cropping intensity in the related sub-national unit.
Version 1.0 (2008): The initial version of the data set.
Total harvested area of irrigated crops as percentage of cellarea
Monthly growing areas of irrigated wheat, maize, rice and cotton
The documentation for irrigated crops was published as Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 06:
Portmann, F., Siebert, S., Bauer, C. & Döll, P. (2008): Global data set of monthly growing areas of 26 irrigated crops. Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 06, Institute of Physical Geography, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. [download pdf, 12.0 MB]
The documentation for both rainfed and irrigated crops is published in a peer-reviewed journal:
Portmann, F. T., Siebert, S. & Döll, P. (2010): MIRCA2000 – Global monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000: A new high-resolution data set for agricultural and hydrological modeling, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 24, GB 1011, doi:10.1029/2008GB003435.
For Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 09, the documentation for irrigated crops was updated especially with respect to data quality and scaling. Data quality parameters by country and unit, and crop calendars for rainfed and irrigated crops for each unit are now available, too:
Portmann, F.T. (2011): Global estimation of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas on a 5 arc-minute grid. Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 09, Institute of Physical Geography, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. [access Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 09, 8.4-22.3 MB]
Siebert, S., Döll, P. (2008): The Global Crop Water Model (GCWM): Documentation and first results for irrigated crops. Frankfurt Hydrology Paper 07, Institute of Physical Geography, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Siebert, S., Döll, P. (2007): Irrigation water use - A global perspective. In: Lozán, J.L., Graßl, H., Hupfer, P., Menzel, L., Schönwiese, C.-D. (eds.): Global Change: Enough Water for all? University of Hamburg, Hamburg, 104-107.