Analyzing Land Limitations and Determining Their Degree of Suitability for Cereals Cultivation in the Irrigated Plains of Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof., Land Evaluation Dept., Soil and Water Research Institute, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran

2 Assistant Prof., Soil and Water Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran

3 Assistant Prof., Soil and Water Research Institute, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran

4 Research instructor of Soil and Water Research Department, East Azarbyjan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tabriz, Iran

5 Assistant Prof., Soil and Water Research Department, Kermanshah Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Kermanshah, Iran


Land suitability classification is a useful management method to ensure using the planned and sustainable agricultural land according to their potential. Therefore, the suitability of irrigated plains in Iran was evaluated for wheat, barley, grain maize, rice and triticale in the years 2017 to 2022. The results showed that 1.4 million ha of the studied lands for wheat are in highly suitable class (S1), 2.8 million ha in moderately suitable class (S2), 1.39 million ha in marginally suitable class (S3), lands with an area of 524,531 ha in currently unsuitable class (N1) and 199,503 ha in permanently unsuitable class (N2). For barley, about 1.3 million ha are in S1 class, 2.2 million ha in S2 class, S3 class lands with an area of 1.3 million ha, about 501 thousand ha in N1 class and 489 thousand ha in N2 class. About 39 thousand ha for grain maize are in S1 class, 1.1 million ha in S2 class, S3 class lands with an area of 1.6 million ha, 853 thousand ha in N1 class and 999 thousand ha in N2 class. For rice cultivation, there are 310 thousand ha of land in S2 class, S3 class lands with 1.5 million ha, 877 thousand ha in N1 class and 949 thousand ha in unsuitable N2 class. There are 127,000 ha of land for Triticale in S1 class, about 549,000 ha in S2 class, 323,000 ha of land in S3 class, about 97,000 ha in N1 class and 83,000 ha in N2 class. Statistical analysis of the data showed that the separation of land suitability classes for all crops has acceptable accuracy. The main limiting characteristics were; texture, salinity/alkalinity, slope, drainage and in some areas climatic characteristics. With regard to the distinction of suitable and unsuitable lands, the application of the obtained results can be effective into correct programming for sustainable exploitation, production and cultivation pattern development.


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