Dataset Now Available: Crop Allocation to Food, Feed, Nonfood

What is EarthStat?

EarthStat serves geographic data sets that help solve the grand challenge of feeding a growing global population while reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment. EarthStat is a collaboration between the Global Landscapes Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and the Land Use and Global Environment lab at the University of British Columbia.

Cropland and Pasture Area in 2000

Agricultural activities have dramatically altered our planet’s land surface. To understand the extent and spatial distribution of these changes, we create a global data set of croplands and pastures circa 2000 by combining agricultural inventory data and satellite-derived land cover data.

Harvested Area and Yield for 175 Crops year 2000

Here we present land use data sets created by combining national, state, and county level census statistics with a recently updated global data set of croplands on a five-arc-minute by five-arc-minute (~10 km by 10 km) latitude/longitude grid. The resulting land use data sets depict circa the year 2000 the area (harvested) and yield of 175 distinct crops of the world.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Croplands

Here, we develop global crop-specific circa 2000 estimates of GHG emissions and GHG intensity in high spatial detail, reporting the effects of rice paddy management, peatland draining, and nitrogen (N) fertilizer on CH4, CO2, and N2O emissions.

Climate Variation Effects on Crop Yields for Maize, Soybean, Rice, and Wheat

Many studies have examined the role of mean climate change in agriculture, but an understanding of the influence of inter-annual climate variations on crop yields in different regions remains elusive. We use detailed crop statistics time series for ~13,500 political units to examine how recent climate variability led to variations in maize, rice, wheat and soybean crop yields worldwide.

Yield Trends and Changes for Maize, Soybean, Rice, and Wheat

To understand how crop yields are changing globally, and whether we are on track to meet demand for crops by 2050, these data include ∼2.5 million agricultural statistics, collected for ∼13,500 political units across the world. We track yields and areas in four key global crops—maize, rice, wheat, and soybean—that currently produce nearly two-thirds of global agricultural calories.

Water Depletion and WaterGap3 Basins

Water depletion is a measure of the fraction of available renewable water consumptively used by human activities within a watershed. Our characterization of water depletion uses calculations from the WaterGAP3 global hydrology model to assess long-term average annual consumed fraction of renewably available water, then integrates seasonal depletion and dry-year depletion, also based on WaterGAP3 calculations, with average annual depletion into a unified scale.

Yield Gaps and Climate Bins for Major Crops

Large yield variations exist across the world, even among regions with similar growing conditions, suggesting the existence of ‘yield gaps’. Here we define a yield gap as the difference between observed crop yields and the attainable yield at the same location. Yield gaps were estimated by comparing observed yields to attainable yields determined by identifying high-yielding areas within zones, or bins, of similar climate.

Nutrient Application for Major Crops

Fertilizer application rate and consumption data were compiled for nations and subnational units across the globe. Application rates for crop–country combinations missing data were estimated as described in the methods portion of this document. Crop- and crop-group-specific application rates were then distributed across detailed maps of crop and pasture areas, and rates were harmonized with subnational and national nutrient consumption data.

Total Nutrient Balance for 140 Crops

Excess nutrients are not evenly distributed across regions or crops. Here we include data products for an aggregate of 140 crops globally for elemental nitrogen and phosphorus balances on landscape.

Carbon Stocks in Potential Natural Vegetation

Here, we present a spatially explicit global analysis of tradeoffs between carbon stocks and current crop yields. By factoring crop yield into the analysis, we specify the tradeoff between carbon stocks and crops for all areas where crops are currently grown and thereby, substantially enhance the spatial resolution relative to previous regional estimates.

Crop Allocation to Food, Feed, Nonfood

To understand how the world’s crops are allocated to different uses and whether it is possible to feed more people with current levels of crop production, we map the global extent and productivity of 41 major agricultural crops (which account for >90 percent of total calorie production around the world). These data use a global compilation of census data and satellite images to depict geographic patterns of crop area and yields across the world.

Harvested Area and Yield for 4 Crops (1995-2005)

Most global land cover data sets from satellites group croplands into just a few categories, but here we present land use data sets created by combining national, state, and county level census statistics with a global data set of croplands. The resulting land use data sets depict five-year averages for 1995, 2000, and 2005 area (harvested) and yield of wheat, maize, rice, and soybean.