/AnMtgsAbsts2009.52320 Agricultural Suitability Classification Using MicroLEIS Program for Some Desert Soils in Egypt.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
A. A. Aldabaa1, A. A Shata2, Hailin Zhang3, S. El-Sawy4 and A. Abdel Hamid4, (1)Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma state Univ., Stillwater, OK
(2)Pedology, Desert Res. Center, Cairo, Egypt
(3)Plant & Soil Sci Dept., Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK
(4)Soil sciences, Cairo Univ., Faculty of Agriculture, cairo, Egypt
            Desert reclamation for agricultural production is one of the priorities to compensate for the losses of agricultural land and to minimize food supply shortage in Egypt. Wadi El-Rayan Depression is one of the agricultural projects the Egyptian government initiated to achieve the goal. The irrigation of this Depression depends on the agricultural drained water from the El-Fayum Depression. Moreover, the irrigation of the soils located north of the study area depends on the high quality water coming form the River Nile. The main objective of this study was to use a computer-based soil evaluation system to classify soil suitability for wheat, melon, soybean, sunflower, sugar beet, alfalfa, and olive production.     Based on the interpretation of satellite image matching with the dominant geomorphic units, 65 soil profiles were characterized in Wadi El-Rayan Depression and its environs in addition to 13 soil auger tests. The characterizations included morphologic, chemical, physical analyses. The dominant soils in the region are Haplosalids, Torriorthents, Haplocalcids, Torripsamments, and other miscellaneous soils located in rocky areas. The computer-based soil evaluation system using soil profile information indicated that the soils of the studied area are not suitable for the selected crops by one or more limiting factors. However, there are some exceptional cases ranged from suitable to marginally suitable. With the integration of Geographic Information System (GIS), the agricultural soil suitability maps were developed to show the limiting factors that hinder the land use of the studied area. This information will serve as the basis for future reclamation.