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W. Wayne Pettapiece, Ph.D., P.Ag. for Alberta Soils Network January, 2011 1.

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Presentation on theme: "W. Wayne Pettapiece, Ph.D., P.Ag. for Alberta Soils Network January, 2011 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 W. Wayne Pettapiece, Ph.D., P.Ag. for Alberta Soils Network January,

2 TERMINOLOGY TERMINOLOGY Land vs Soil, Suitability vs Capability, Agriculture HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE going on for a long time LAND SUITABILITY RATING SYSTEM LAND SUITABILITY RATING SYSTEM Most recent USES (AND MISUSES) OF SUITABILITY SYSTEMS USES (AND MISUSES) OF SUITABILITY SYSTEMS Agriculture, planning, environment, assessment 2

3 Terms commonly used Terms commonly used Soil Rating / Land Rating Soil Capability / Land Capability Soil Suitability / Land Suitability Soil Assessment / Land Assessment Soil Evaluation / Land Evaluation All have been used for the same meaning All have been used for different meanings Purpose Purpose Agriculture? Forestry?Engineering? Wheat/Alfalfa? Aspen/Pine?Subgrade/Irrigation Economics? 3

4 What terms should be used What terms should be used ? Soil vs Land Soil vs Land Original was “soil” – context assumed to be agriculture local extent so limited variability in topography and climate Context expanded from rating to capability name didn’t change eg CLI – Soil Capability Started to think in terms of systems (ecological) the term “land” seemed more appropriate Recommended Recommended That “land “ be the generally used term That “soil” be only used for specific situations 4 30’s 60’s 80’s

5 What terms should be used ? Rating vs Capability vs Suitability Rating vs Capability vs Suitability Rating was the original term Rating was the original term It was understood (not stated) to be crop productivity All the terms are “ratings” Capability is a broader concept Capability is a broader concept It includes flexibility of crop options, sustainability and management (input requirement) components Suitability has the same concept as capability Suitability has the same concept as capability Used for more specific objectives Larger scale / more detail 5 30’s 60’s 80’s

6 What terms should be used ? Rating vs Capability vs Suitability Rating vs Capability vs Suitability Recommended Recommended That “Capability “ be the general term for broad uses e.g. agriculture or forestry or irrigation generally at scales of 1:1m – 1: 250K That “Suitability” be used for specific crops or defined uses e.g. corn or aspen (or spring seeded small grains) generally at scales of > 1:100K That “rating” only be used with a descriptive adjective e.g. productivity rating or capability rating or irrigation rating 6

7 Pre 1930 (from about 1850) Objective : agricultural potential Broad, very subjective Good – Fair – Poor Land Surveyors (geodetic), soil surveyors, farm extension Scale: 1:1M – 1: 250K (Township – section) 7

8 Storie soil rating system Objective : crop productivity Much more specific (more scientific) Identified / rated specific soil parameters (texture, OM, pH etc) Absolute number (between 1 and 100) 8 classes with 8 = best Well accepted by technical community Researchers, soil specialists, soil surveyors Scale: > 1: 100K (1/4 sec - field) 8

9 Canada Land Inventory: Soil Capability for Agriculture (CLI) Objective : Agricultural capability (potential) Multiple land use context Included climate and landscape components Identified and considered specific soil parameters (texture, OM, pH etc) Comparative rating (specified limitations) 7 Classes with 1 = best) Very well accepted by the planning community Soil surveyors, soil specialists Scale: 1:1M – 1: 250K (Township – section) initially Extended to < 1:100k (1/4 sec) with variable results 9

10 1980 – 1995 Canada Land Inventory: Soil capability for Agriculture (CLI) Modifications, inconsistent use at more detailed scales, lacked specificity Land Capability Classification for Arable Agriculture Land Capability Classification for Arable Agriculture (Alberta) Objective : Agricultural capability in a structured defined relationship Included all factors of the CLI Incorporated specific criteria ratings like the Storie approach Modular structure with Climate, Soil and Landscape handled separately 7 Class rating with specified limitations (like the CLI) final rating based on most limiting (of climate, soil or landscape) Soil surveyors, soil specialists Scale: not limiting 10

11 1995 – present Canada Land Inventory: Soil capability for Agriculture (CLI) Modifications, inconsistent use at more detailed scales Ratings are dated and the system no longer supported by AAFC Land Capability Classification for Arable Agriculture (Alberta) – renamed and modified for national application Land Suitability Rating System Land Suitability Rating System (for small grains) (LSRS) Ratings comparable to the CLI but with defined, documented rules Ratings comparable across Canada System can be used as a continuous numerical rating or as Classes System has been modified to accommodate other crops presently includes: canola, corn, soybeans, grass forages, legume forages System designed to work with standard NSDB files (SNF, SLF) System has been automated 11

12 Pre – – – 1980 Municipal Assessment - climate framework - economics - economics Subjective Individual Assessments - general feeling - general feeling - texture - texture - slope - slope - drainage Storie Rating System - specific factors - specific factors - points assigned - points assigned - specialists - specialists Canada Land Inventory - factors include climate - factors include climate and topography and topography - holistic - holistic - general - general Irrigability Rating - drainage - sustainability Agricultural potential Agric. productivity Agricultural capability 1:1M – 1:250K (Twp – sec) < 1:100K (< ¼ sec) 1:1M – 1:250K (Twp – sec) 12

13 Municipal Assessment LocalModificat’ns Canada Land Inventory (CLI) (CLI) - factors include climate - factors include climate and topography and topography - holistic - holistic - general - general Land Capability Classification - modular structure - modular structure - Storie type rating of individual factors - Storie type rating of individual factors - climate group - climate group - added organic soils - added organic soils Land Suitability Rating System Land Suitability Rating System (LSRS) (LSRS) - national climate link - national climate link - NSDB link - NSDB link - nationally consistent - nationally consistent - automated - automated - more crops - more crops - more data sources - more data sources Irrigability Rating LocalModificat’ns Reclamation Rating Agricultural capability Agric. cap. Agric. capability Agric. capability Agricultural suitability Agricultural suitability 1:1M – 1:250K (Twp – sec) < 1:100K (< ¼ sec) < 1:100K (< ¼ sec) Any scale Any scale 13

14 By 1980 – There were problems with the CLI CLI - used beyond intended objectives / scale somewhat subjective at small scale was being modified for specific uses not specific at larger scales Different agencies had their own systems hard to compare In addition did not deal with organic soils could not compare nationally Lack of specificity 14

15 Basic approach retain 7 class CLI concept be specific (including crop) national - Land (climate linked) generic and flexible expert system approach (use existing data) automate 15

16 Basic approach separate climate, soil and landscape independent control flexibility most limiting determines final rating use same crop for all conditionsRelationships CLIMATE(CROP) FLEXIBILITY CLIMATE (CROP) FLEXIBILITY SOILPRODUCTIVITY SOIL PRODUCTIVITY LANDSCAPESUSTAINABILITY LANDSCAPE SUSTAINABILITY 16

17 CRITERIA Known to affect ability of soil to produce crops known to affect ability of soil to respond to management stress Must be measurable (estimatable) Should be commonly available 17

18 Climate Factors heat or energy factor heat or energy factor effective growing degree days moisture factor moisture factor precipitation - potential evapotraspiration modifying factors excess spring moisture, excess fall moisture, fall frost excess heat 18

19 Soil Factors moisture supply moisture supply texture (with climate) water table nutrient supply nutrient supply organic matter content reaction rooting conditions rooting conditions surface conditions subsurface conditions 19

20 Soil Factors Soil Factors (cont) chemical conditions chemical conditions salinity sodicity drainage drainage water table (with climate) 20

21 Landscape Factors erodability erodability slope steepness slope length (landform) management management stoniness flooding 21

22 Relationship between limitation concept, suitability class and calculated index limitation for suitability index specified crop class points none to slight slight moderate severe (marginal) very severe extremely severe unsuitable

23 Factor Rating example – salinity effects on small grains Salinity (dS/m) LimitationPointdeduction2 No effect 0 4 Slight limitation (Class 1-2) 20 8 Moderate limitation (Class 3) Very sever limitation (Class 5) Growth stopped (Class 7) Point deductions for surface salinity electical conductivity (dS/m) Point deduction y = x x R 2 =

24 System Attributes provides a standard approach for assessing land for crop growth pragmatic and explicit it uses present knowledge and available data accommodates defined proxies documents all inputs and calculations integrates but partitions uses an explicit, modular format adaptable to local conditions flexible and adaptable independent of scale 24

25 DOES assess ‘fitness for a specific use’ assess ‘fitness for a specific use’ assess ‘soil quality’ for a given set of conditions assess ‘soil quality’ for a given set of conditions assess disturbed conditions assess disturbed conditions DOES NOT model plant growth model plant growth Not an absolute – assesses the degree of limitation indicate best land use indicate best land use indicate most economical land use indicate most economical land use 25

26 Concept issues Capability/Suitability vs Productivity Capability/Suitability vs Productivity Soil component is the main contributor to productivity Climate component generally determines “What crops will grow” Marginal climates do affect yields If area is restricted and assume appropriate crops this module not required Landscape Sustainability = “cost of production” Not a productivity issue Productivity estimated by a capability method is comparative Productivity estimated by a capability method is comparative Best or “least limited”, Can become bu/ac e.g. if linked to local values 26

27 Concept issues Equivalent Capability Capability/suitability = holistic, system approach Must consider all factors to determine a result Capability assessed after disturbance/reclamation vs capability assessed for undisturbed condition Unless otherwise specified can assume Same site - so same climate (climate module not required) Same purpose – same crops / management Given the above holistic Must use same holistic procedures for pre and post conditions Must decide on “equivalency” (e.g %) LSRS or similar system should be used 27

28 Concept issues Soil Health This is a concept – it is an assessment of how well the soil is being sustained in its ecological niche It must be interpreted and descriptive factors chosen Factors must be measurable, available and sensitive to change E.g. OM, pH, salinity, structure, depth of topsoil Others such as biomass are correlated The soil component of LSRS addresses these factors Soil Quality This is a different concept – must have a use (for something) Quality over time can be interpreted as health 28 reification

29 29 Agricultural Potential Spring Seeded Small Grains – Ratings for Alberta Spring Seeded Small Grains – Ratings for Alberta results essentially the same as CLI lost Class 1 (total Classes 1-3 = same) added Class 4 climate Linked to AGRASID (1:100K soil inventory database) Linked to AGRASID (1:100K soil inventory database) Linked to modified Alberta climate automated roll-up (max of 3 component symbol) Available at Alberta Agriculture “Ropin’ the Web” Go to “maps & multimedia” then “Alberta Soil Information Viewer”

30 30 Other Agricultural Considerations Other crops Other crops canola, corn, soybeans, brome forage, alfalfa forage canola, corn, soybeans, brome forage, alfalfa forage Climate module modified to accommodate different elements AAFC platform can be viewed at (LSRS.landresources.ca/) (grapes, apples presently under development) Climate change analysis Climate change analysis PFRA / Agri-Environmental Services Branch (AAFC) Land capability ct 0 vs land capability ct 30 using different climate databases (scenarios) Biomass potential Biomass potential - PFRA / Agri-Environmental Services Branch (AAFC) Used to approximate relative soil productivity Unlink climate and landscape modules (not climate data)

31 Other Agricultural Considerations Other Agricultural Considerations (cont) Soil Quality / Sustainability Assessment Soil Quality / Sustainability Assessment determine the effect of present management land capability t 0 vs land capability t 30 linked to EPIC (Erosion/Productivity Impact Calculator) to calculate different soil inputs Soil Health Could also be termed Soil Health 31

32 32 *EPIC EPIC *LSRS LSRS *Crop rotations *Management *Soils *Climate 30yr simulation SQ - SQ = SQ (0) (30) trends Soils 3 years6 months InputsModelsAnalysis Schematic of the Assessment Process

33 Ecodistrict 30 year predicted change (%) Figure 1. Predicted percent change in land suitability ratings for the pilot areas.

34 D C B A Aspen Parkland (Black soils) Boreal Transition (Dark Grey and Grey soils) Mixed Grassland (Brown soils) Moist Mixed Grassland, Fescue Grassland (Dark Brown and Black soils) Ecodistrict number -0.5 to +0.5% +0.5 to +2% > +2% Predicted Change < -2% -0.5 to -2% Figure 4. Areal distribution of land suitability trends in Alberta

35 Forestry Considerations Woodlot Assessment Woodlot Assessment Modified soil and landscape factors different climatic framework Alberta Municipal Affairs 35

36 Reclamation Considerations Pipeline Reclamation Assessment Pipeline Reclamation Assessment “Equivalent Capability” Level 2 soils component Nova, A. Env., CAPP 36

37 We covered Some key terms Some key terms Soil, land, capability, suitability, rating Equivalent capability, soil health, soil quality Capability/suitability vs productivity The history of land assessments in Alberta The history of land assessments in Alberta (1850 – 2010) Emphasis on Storie, CLI, LSRS Development of the Land Suitability Rating System Development of the Land Suitability Rating System Identified what it does and doesn’t do Some uses of capabiity/suitability approaches Some uses of capabiity/suitability approaches Examples using the LSRS platform 37

38  I would like to thank all the people who have contributed to the development and applications of soil/land ratings in Canada– for agriculture and other uses. They have provided a wealth of history, expertise and ideas. – Pioneering is not easy and often fraught with mistakes (omissison more than commission) – Provincial and national working groups – Gerry Tychon – programming, geographical linkages  Thanks to the organizers of the Alberta Soils Network – For the opportunity to share my thoughts with you – For their initiative and diligence re things soils 38

39 ARDA Canada Land Inventory. Capability for Agriculture. The Canada Land Inventory Report No. 2, Dept of Forestry and Rural Development, Ottawa. 16 p. Alberta Soils Advisory Committee Land capability classification for arable agriculture in Alberta (1987). Edited by W.W. Pettapiece. Alberta Agriculture. 103 pp. 5 maps. Agronomic Interpretations Working Group Land suitability rating system for agricultural crops: 1. Spring- seeded small grains. Edited by W.W. Pettapiece. Tech. Bull. No E. Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research, Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa. 90p, 2 maps. Pettapiece, W.W., K.L. Haugen-Kozyra and L.D. Watson Soil quality analysis and trends at a regional scale. Technical Bulletin No E. Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB. 30 pp. 1 diskette NGTL External Advisory Board Alberta Pipeline Reclamation Assessment Manual. Edited by A. Fedkenheuer and W. Pettapiece. A report submitted to TransCanada Transmission Ltd. Calgary AB. 100p Pettapiece, W.W., K. Glover and J. Ball Land Assessment for Woodlot Production. Pages In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Alberta Soil Science Workshop, February,2002. Available from Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Edmonton, AB. Tychon, G. G. (Spatial Data Systems Consulting) and W. W. Pettapiece (Pettapiece Pedology). 2003, Land Suitability Rating System - interactive programs to accommodate Alberta (AGRASID) data bases and Area Specific ratings. Can be obtained from Conservation and Development Branch, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Edmonton, Alberta. Computer programs (LSRS 2.1, LSRS 2.2) with documentation. 39

40 40 and Keep Digging


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