Global data on crop nutrient concentration and harvest indices



Estimates of crop nutrient removal (as crop products and crop residues) are an important component of crop nutrient balances. Crop nutrient removal can be estimated through multiplication of the quantity of crop products or crop residues (removed) by the nutrient concentration of those crop products and crop residue components respectively. Data for quantities of crop products removed at a country level are available through FAOSTAT (, but equivalent data for quantities of crop residues are not available at a global level. However, quantities of crop residues can be estimated if the relationship between quantity of crop residues and crop products is known. Harvest index (HI) provides one such indication of the relationship between quantity of crop products and crop residues. HI is the proportion of above-ground biomass as crop products and can be used to estimate quantity of crop residues based on quantity of crop products. Previously, meta-analyses or surveys have been performed to estimate nutrient concentrations of crop products and crop residues and harvest indices (collectively known as crop coefficients). The challenges for using these coefficients in global nutrient balances include the representativeness of world regions or countries. Moreover, it may be unclear which countries or crop types are actually represented in the analyses of data. In addition, units used among studies differ which makes comparisons challenging. To overcome these challenges, data from meta-analyses and surveys were collated in one dataset with standardised units and referrals to the original region and crop names used by the sources of data. Original region and crop names were converted into internationally recognised names, and crop coefficients were summarised into two Tiers of data, representing the world (Tier 1, with single coefficient values for the world) and specific regions or countries of the world (Tier 2, with single coefficient values for each country). This dataset will aid both global and regional analyses for crop nutrient balances.
Date made available7 Mar 2023
PublisherWageningen University & Research
Temporal coverage2020 - 2022
Geographical coverageWorld wide


  • Agricultural sciences
  • Crop nutrient
  • Nitrogen
  • Nutrient balance
  • nutrient budget
  • phosphorus
  • potassium

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