Cherry - crop suitability and yield maps


Suitability is based on consideration of multiple suitability criteria, and expressed as a score from 0 (totally unsuitable) to 1 (perfectly suited with no limitations with respect to any criteria). Potential yield was estimated as a theoretical maximum (based on the published literature) weighted by suitability scores for suitability criteria directly related to productivity, and is an estimate of production when climate and land limitations are not mitigated.


Date: May 2023

Owner: MPI

Contact: Kumar Vetharaniam, Plant and Food Research

Link to report / paper

Vetharaniam I, Müller K, Stanley J, van den Dijssel C, Timar L, Cummins M. April 2021. Modelling the effect of climate change on land suitability for growing perennial crops. A Plant & Food Research report prepared for: Ministry for Primary Industries. Milestone No. 87023 & 73685. Contract No. 34671. Job code: P/405421/01. PFR SPTS No. 20712.

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Dataset attributes

Spatial extent New Zealand
Spatial resolution NIWA Virtual Climate Station Network 5km climate grid

FSL sampled on a 1 by 1 km grid

Temporal extent Suitability scores are an 11 year normal production (2006-2011) Production is derived from the suitability maps and from available published production years which do not necessarily coincide with the suitability years
Temporal resolution 11 year normal
Evaluation method (Validation) Expert calibrated. The information was discussed with industry groups.
Evaluation result (Numeric) N/A
Evaluation result (Categorical) N/A
Uncertainty method Expert assessment of suitability score maps was carried out. Maps assume irrigation is provided when required and so an assessment of irrigation requirements for locations of interest should be carried out. Production is highly dependent on management factors and how well limitations are mitigated, and thus potential production maps should be taken as indicative.
Uncertainty data format (Numeric) N/A
Uncertainty data format (Categorical)



Suitability criteria are related to i) risk of damage to canes and vines from extreme cold, ii) sufficiency of warmth during the growing season (growing degree days), iii) risk of frost damage to flowers and fruit, iv) sufficiency of winter chill for flowering, v) soil drainage, vi) potential rooting depth, vii) land use capability class, viii) slope of land.

It was assumed that irrigation would be used when required, and thus rainfall was not considered as a criterion.

Suitability scores for climate-related criteria were calculated separately for each year and averaged to get a yearly climate score using weighted geometric means, with weights reflecting the relative importance of criteria. Yearly climate scores were averaged for the period 2006 to 2016 using arithmetic means to get an overall climate score. Suitability scores for land-related criteria were calculated separately and averaged using weighted geometric means to get an overall land suitability score. Climate and land suitability scores were averaged by taking their weighted geometric mean to obtain an overall location suitability score.

Suitability maps for individual criteria as well as climate suitability, land suitability and location suitability were "ground truthed" by horticultural experts.

Fact sheet: Climate change impacts on cherry

Main report: Modelling the effect of climate change on land suitability for growing perennial crops


Fitness for purpose / limitations

This table indicates whether the dataset is suitable for different types of questions at different scales.

Note: Users should carefully consider their purpose as this dataset may not be suitable.

Operational Absolute Relative Screening/scoping
Block/farm No No Maybe Maybe
Multi-farms(5+) No No Yes Yes
Catchment No No Yes Yes
National/regional No No Yes Yes
Caveat(s) Does not include micro climate.

Data and Resources