4. Global data set of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000)


Global data set of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000)


2009 (data available), 2010 (documentation as online publication), 2011 (formal bugfix Cropping Periods List)



Former versions



The global data set of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000) consists of Monthly Growing Area Grids (unit: hectare) of 26 irrigated (MGAG-I) and rainfed crops (MGAG-R), related Condensed Crop Calendars for irrigated (CCC-I) and rainfed crops (CCC-R) for 402 national and sub.national units, Cropping Period Lists (CPL, CCC on grid cell level), and Maximum Monthly Growing Area Grids of 26 irrigated (MMGAG-I) and rainfed grids (MMGAG-R). The selection of crops includes 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, rapeseed/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 time period 1998-2002 and has a spatial resolution of 5 arc-minutes by 5 arc-minutes. The data for irrigated crops was compiled using national and sub-national statistics of FAO and national agricultural census data, together with global spatial data sets on area equipped for irrigation (Global Map of Irrigation Areas), and global datasets on cropland extent and harvested area of the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The data on total harvested area of SAGE was used to derive consistent rainfed harvested area.


Data for irrigated and rainfed crops are available in different formats.


Modelling of water use by irrigated and rainfed agriculture, modelling of blue and green virtual water content, modelling crop productivities, development of data sets on global cropland and crop types, modelling of the impact of irrigated agriculture on global (or regional) climate. We advise to use the data set for global assessments or at the scale of world regions.

Data download

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irrigation, irrigated areas, rainfed agriculture, agriculture, water use, virtual water, blue water, green water, land cover, land use, global map

Please cite as

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, GB1011, doi:10.1029/2008GB003435.