Land Quality (land + quality)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Using farmers' knowledge for defining criteria for land qualities in biophysical land evaluation

I. Messing
Abstract The objective of this paper is to present a way of complementing empirical results with farmers' perceptions in defining limiting biophysical land properties in a land suitability evaluation using the FAO framework methodology. The farmers' perceptions were identified using rapid and participatory rural appraisal (RRA/PRA) tools. The study catchment, having a semiarid continental climate and located on the Loess Plateau in northern China, covered an area of 3.5 km2. Most of the land users were dependent on subsistence agriculture. There were important topographic variations in the catchment and arable cropping on steep slopes brought about degradation of land due to water erosion. The biophysical monitoring, soil survey and RRA/PRA survey, carried out one year prior to the present investigation, supplied the data needed for identification of preliminary limiting land properties and land evaluation units. The land properties that needed further investigation in the present study were slope aspect, soil workability, flooding hazard and farmers' criteria on choice of land-use type. The farmers were able to give a comprehensive picture of the spatial and temporal variation and the importance for land-use options of the land properties concerned, and thereby complement the information gained from empirical results (measurements). In order to guarantee good production for dry as well as wet years, both south- and north-facing sites were chosen for most crops, and the slope aspect did not need to be differentiated in the final land suitability evaluation for arable crops. Grassland, however, was considered to be more suitable than woodland on south-facing sites. Hard soil layers were found to be important, since they affected soil workability and erosion negatively, giving slightly reduced suitability for the land units in which they occurred. Flooding events affecting crops on alluvial soils negatively were considered to occur once every 5 to 10 years, which is considered to be a low rate, so this property was therefore not included in the final suitability evaluation. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

,Land Moves and Behaves': Indigenous Discourse on Sustainable Land Management in Pichataro, Patzcuaro Basin, Mexico

Narciso Barrera-Bassols
ABSTRACT An ethnoecological study was carried out in the Purhepecha community of San Francisco Pichataro, west central Mexico, with the purpose of investigating how land degradation, in terms of soil erosion and fertility depletion, was (and still is) handled by indigenous farmers so that traditional agriculture could remain sustainable over centuries. After briefly reviewing opposite views on the land degradation issue in the regional context of the Patzcuaro lake basin, the paper focuses on land management at local level. The indigenous concept of land is discussed as an integrated whole, including water cycle, climate, relief and soils. Indigenous people venerate land as the mother of all living beings, including humans. Therefore, people's health and survival require good land care and management. Local knowledge on land management is organized around four basic principles: land position, land behaviour, land resilience and land quality. Fanners recognize land as a dynamic subject, a concept reflected in the expression ,land moves and behaves'. Soil erosion and fertility depletion are perceived as ,normal' processes the farmers control by means of integrated management practices. Farmers recognize several land classes, primarily controlled by landscape position, which require different land care. The example of San Francisco Pichataro demonstrates that traditional agriculture does not necessarily lead to land degradation. But the collective knowledge, or social theory, on land management is increasingly exposed to be fragmented as the community undergoes structural changes and loses its social cohesion under the pressure of externalities such as off-farm activities, out-migrations and governmental intervention, among others. [source]

Jobs, Houses, and Trees: Changing Regional Structure, Local Land-Use Patterns, and Forest Cover in Southern Indiana

Darla K. Munroe
Land-use and -cover change is a topic of increasing concern as interest in forest and agricultural land preservation grows. Urban and residential land use is quickly replacing extractive land use in southern Indiana. The interaction between land quality and urban growth pressures is also causing secondary forest growth and forest clearing to occur jointly in a complex spatial pattern. It is argued that similar processes fuel the abandonment of agricultural land leading to private forest regrowth, changes in topography and land quality, and declining real farm product prices. However, the impact of urban growth and development on forests depends more strongly on changes in both the residential housing and labor markets. Using location quotient analysis of aggregate employment patterns, and the relationship between regional labor market changes, the extent of private forest cover was examined from 1967 to 1998. Then an econometric model of land-use shares in forty southern Indiana counties was developed based on the net benefits to agriculture, forestland, and urban uses. To test the need to control explicitly for changes in residential demand and regional economic structure, a series of nested models was estimated. Some evidence was found that changing agricultural profitability is leading to private forest regrowth. It was also uncovered that the ratio of urban to forest land uses is better explained by incorporating measures of residential land value and industrial concentration than simply considering population density alone. [source]

Using Principal-Agent Theory to Deal with Output Slippage in the European Union Set-Aside Policy

Rob Fraser
This paper proposes modifications to the existing EU set-aside policy which are designed to alleviate the problem of output slippage associated with heterogeneous land quality by using "incentive-compatible" mechanisms drawn from principal-agent theory. Specifically, it is suggested that there should be differential reference yields based on land quality to discourage the "adverse selection" of lower quality land for set-aside, and that the scope of set-aside monitoring should be expanded to include both the quantity and the quality of land set-aside so as to discourage "moral hazard" problems. The potential of these modifications is illustrated using a numerical analysis, which is also used to evaluate the role of a range of factors which determine the set-aside decision. Finally, an estimate of the "benefits" from reducing slippage required to justify the costs of including these modifications is provided. [source]