DOI: /10.5513/JCEA01/17.1.1688

Original scientific paper

Assessment of the agricultural land under steep slope in Lithuania

2016, 17 (1)   p. 176-187

Gintaras JARASIUNAS

Abstract

The aim of this research was to evaluate and describe agricultural land handicapped by steep slope and to assess agricultural expertsf attitude towards impact of terrain factor on the generic farming activity. This paper analyses differences and similarities between Lithuanian rural elderships affected by steep slope constraint (i.e. ≥ 7° (15%) slope gradient) with the subsequent evaluation in selected agronomical variables. In total 514 rural elderships were classified into five groups by percentage of agricultural land with steep slope. The assessment of agricultural variables by steep slope groups revealed that the best developed are elderships (60.12%) falling into Group I, where mean value of area under steep slope was 0.32%. Very unfavourable conditions, especially for intensive farming, were identified in Group V (7.59% elderships), where the topographical character has a dominantly hilly terrain. Agricultural expertsf (scientists) for survey was used assessing the respondents attitude (6-point Likert Scale) towards terrain impact on the items related to generic farming sector, i.e., "Agricultural development", "Farming systems use", "Land utilization possibilities" and "Soil erosion". The surveyed experts considered that terrain is a factor influencing land-use decisions and the item "Land utilization possibilities" has assumed the highest mean score (3.77). Therefore it should be a good overview of agricultural land with steep slope, as one of the most important natural agri-environmental constraint affecting generic farming possibilities in Lithuania.

Keywords

agricultural land, attitude survey, farming, hilly terrain, steep slope

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