Mapping Single‐, Double‐, and Triple‐crop Agriculture in China at 0.5° × 0.5° by Combining County‐scale Census Data with a Remote Sensing‐derived Land Cover Map


Assessments of agriculture at the national scale require the best possible information on the distribution of cropland and the management of that cropland. Official cropland statistics for China contain much information on the distribution of crop types, but are known to underestimate total cropland area and are generally at coarse spatial resolution. Remote sensing products can provide moderate to fine spatial resolution estimates of cropland location and extent, but usually supply little information on crop type or management. We combined 1990 county‐scale agricultural census statistics on total cropland area and sown area of 17 major crops with a fine‐resolution land‐cover map derived from 1995‐96 optical remote sensing (Landsat Thematic Mapper) data to generate 0.5° resolution maps of the distribution of 47 different single‐ and multi‐crop rotations in mainland China. We estimated that, of 1.3‐million km2 of cropland, approximately 60% was single‐cropped, 30% was double‐cropped, and 10% was triple‐cropped. Total sown or planted area was 2.0‐million km2.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

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Geocarto International


Taylor & Francis

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