Saturday, 15 July 2006

Framework and Components of a New Land Evaluation System in Hungary.

Tamás Németh1, András Bidló2, Zoltán Gaál3, Bálint Heil2, Tamás Hermann4, András Makó4, Ferenc Máté5, Ferenc Speiser6, István Szűcs7, Gergely Tóth1, Tibor Tóth1, György Várallyay1, and József Vass8. (1) Research Institute for Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Herman O. u. 15., Budapest, 1022, Hungary, (2) Univ of Western Hungary, Bajcsy Zs. u. 4., Sopron, 9400, Hungary, (3) Univ of Veszprém Faculty of Economics, Egyetem u. 10., Veszprém, 8200, Hungary, (4) Univ of Veszprém Georgikon Faculty of Agriculture, Deák F. u. 16., Keszthely, 8360, Hungary, (5) Univ of Veszprém Georgikon Faculty of Agriculture, Deák F. u. 16., Keszthely, 8360, Hungary, (6) Univ of Ve szprém Faculty of Information Technology, Egyetem u. 10., Veszprém, 8200, Hungary, (7) Szent István Univ, Páter K. u. 1., Gödöllő, 2103, Hungary, (8) Univ of Veszprém Faculty of Information Technology, Egyetem u. 10., Veszprém, 8200, Hungary

Planning, regulation and execution of land use plans requires consideration of both profitability and environmental impact of land use options. To support decision making on sustainable utilization of soil resources land evaluation systems can be applied. Although different approaches of soil-quality-based land evaluation exist worldwide, field management scale applications are generally not available. A new land evaluation system is planned in Hungary, which allows both economic and ecologic evaluation of different land use options, including land use types (forestry, cropland and pasture) and land utilization types (cropping system, forest stand) on the scale of agricultural plots. The cropland productivity evaluation in the system is completed with on-line GIS support. It performs plant production modeling according to the major cultivated crops separately. The so-called D-e-Meter system, which evaluates lands according to different management intensity schemes, also calculates productivity indices for three different climatic scenarios. High-resolution digital soil map, topographic map and climate information provide basis for productivity calculation. Forestland productivity evaluation follow similar method, that builds on soil and land properties. Pasture, reed and orchard productivity evaluation will complete the land suitability assessment for the most typical land uses. The calculated productivity indices provide basis for further economic evaluation. Economic land evaluation considers financial factors related to land management, production, market conditions, return rate of investments etc. Environmental impact assessment of different soil management procedures is an optional tool that can be linked to the productivity/land value indices. With its additional modules, the supporting information system is able to link the land ownership and land use registries and provides farm data management assistance for farmers and other linked stakeholders. The new land evaluation system in Hungary - when implemented in its full capacity – can be a comprehensive tool to support sustainable rural development.

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