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Suitability evaluation of large‐scale farmland transfer on the Loess Plateau of Northern Shaanxi, China

Zhou, Xue, Chen, Wei, Wang, Yanan, Zhang, Daojun, Wang, Qian, Zhao, Minjuan, Xia, Xianli
Land degradation & development 2019 v.30 no.10 pp. 1258-1269
agricultural land, agricultural productivity, arable soils, gardens, habitat connectivity, land use, rivers, China
Evaluating the regional agricultural resource endowment is an important basis for the use and management of farmland. Large‐scale farmland transfer is regarded as the prerequisite for the development of modern agriculture or scaled‐up agriculture production. However, few studies have considered the suitability evaluation of large‐scale farmland transfer in severely degraded and ecologically fragile areas. In this study, the suitability of the comprehensive quality and landscape connectivity for large‐scale farmland transfer (LFT) in Zichang County was explored. The results showed that the quality of farmland in the east and midwest was generally higher than that in other areas. High‐connectivity and moderate‐connectivity farmland were scattered along the valley pain of the Xiuyan River. Based on the evaluation results, three suitable land use types for LFT were classified. Approximately 53% (14,210 ha) of farmland distributed in eastern and midwestern Zichang County were classified as suitable for large‐scale arable land transfer; 39% (10,261 ha) concentrated in the northwestern gully zones were suitable for large‐scale garden land transfer; and 8% (1993 ha) mainly located in the north‐central and southwestern parts were unsuitable for LFT. The results are helpful for identifying suitable land use types for LFT, thus promoting rational and efficient land use.