Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Demand for food to accommodate population growth in Egypt pushes agricultural production to areas having not been traditionally farmed such as desert areas. Therefore, this work introduces an approach to analyze the potential and sustainability of land resources for crop production. Two modules of MicroLEIS, namely CERVATANA and ALBERO have been used to assess the land capability and land productivity classification for different uses. Based on satellite images and the dominant geomorphic units, 65 soil profile and 13 check points (auger Test) of the study area were characterized morphologically, and soils samples were analyzed for selected physical and chemical properties, and fertility. The land capability classification generated by CERVATANA indicated that most of the study area is marginal (N), and the soil properties, including useful depth, texture class, stoniness and rockiness, drainage class, and salinity, are the main limiting factors (l). The rest of the area is ranged from moderate (S) to good (S2) with the soil property (l) and erosion risk (r) as limiting factors. On the other hand, the land productivity module of ALBERO revealed that the deep fine-texture soils would attain the highest predicated yield for wheat and cotton followed by moderately deep fine-texture soils. As for maize, the highest predicted yield was achievable from the deep fine-texture soils followed by the deep coarse-texture soil. The very shallow to shallow coarse-texture soils would have the lowest predicated yields for all chosen crops. In general, the crop suitability of the study area is in the order of wheat > maize > cotton.