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Title : Agricultral Land Use Changes, 2001-2012, Southeastern Iowa, Using Landsat 4 & 5 Tm Imagery
Company : Virginia Tech
File Name : Ren.pdf
Size : 1079069
Type : application/pdf
Date : 23-Jul-2014
Downloads : 11

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Authors: Jie Ren, James B. Campbell, and Yang Shao

In central regions of the U. S. Corn Belt, agricultural production since 2001 has changed in response to federal policies implemented to encourage production of biofuels. As a result, increasing demand for sustainable bioenergy resources has accelerated biofuel production, and led to changes in agricultural land use. This study examines: (1) increases and decreases in cultivated area, and (2) pixel-by-pixel crop rotation sequences within a region of southeastern Iowa. The practice of agriculture brings lands in and out of production in response to variations in local landscapes, markets, and technologies. Further, crops are rotated in response to environmental and market concerns. Knowledge of how such lands are used, and of their topographic and pedological properties, forms a prerequisite for understanding the context for developing sustainable management practices and policies. This study examines temporal and spatial patterns of agricultural land use from 2001 to 2012 in a region of southeastern Iowa within a single Landsat scene (Path 25/Row 31). After 2007, intensity of cultivated land use increased and crop rotation changed from standard corn-soybean or soybean-corn cycle to more intensive rotations. These changes may be correlated with market forces. Intensity of cultivated land use depended on topographic and pedological properties, although motivations and constraints perceived by farmers and managers as they plan their use of landscapes are important.
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