Assessment of the FAO traditional land evaluation methods, a case study: Iranian Land Classification method
Bagheri Bodaghabadi, Mohsen
Masihabadi, M. H.
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Land evaluation is a critical step in land-use planning. Although many methods have been developed since the formulation of the FAO framework for land evaluation, several of the more traditional approaches still remain in widespread use but have not been adequately evaluated. Contrary to more recent land evaluation systems, which need considerable data, these systems only require basic soil and landscape information to provide a general view of land suitability for major types of land use. As the FAO initially presented its qualitative framework for land-use planning, based on two previous methods developed in Iran and Brazil, in this study we assessed the reliability and accuracy of a traditional land evaluation method used in Iran, called land classification for irrigation (LCI), comparing its results with several qualitative and quantitative methods and actual yield values. The results showed that, although simpler than more recently developed methods, LCI provided reliable land suitability classes and also showed good relationships both with other methods analysed and with actual yields. Comparisons between qualitative and quantitative methods produced similar results for common crops (a barley-alfalfa-wheat-fallow rotation). However, these methods performed differently for opportunist crops (such as alfalfa) that are more dependent on income and market conditions than on land characteristics. In this work, we also suggest that using the FAO method to indicate LCI subclasses could help users or managers to recognize limitations for land-use planning.
Is part ofSoil Use and Management, 2015, vol. 31, num. 3, p. 384-396
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