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Land Suitability for Agricultural of Certain Crops in Al-Bostan Area, Egypt

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Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, 4(5): 485-499, 2008 2008, INSInet Publication

Land Suitability for Agricultural of Certain Crops in Al-bostan Area, EgyptM.Z. Salem, G.W. Ageeb and I.S. Rahim Soils and Water Use Dept., National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt.Abstract: Eighteen soil profiles have been chosen to represent production and research station of National Research Centre, which including El-Emam Malek and El-Esraa and El Mearage farms. The main morphological properties of the studied soil profiles were described. The studied soil profiles are classified to subgroup level according to Key of Soil Taxonomy as Typic Torripsamments. The obtained results indicate that the soil texture is sandy, and gravels are found in some soil profiles. Organic matter content is low and ranged between 0.08-0.92 %. Soil salinity is low and ranges between 0.15-1.64 dS/m. Cation exchange capacity is low and ranges between 4.2-13.9 meq/100g soil. Calcium carbonate content ranges between 1.17-13.34%. Land capability classification of area under investigation is belonging to Class 4, the limiting factors for agricultural production are gravel percent (G%), available moisture percent(AM%), exchangeable sodium percent (ESP) and cation exchange capacity(CEC). The studied soils are evaluated to determine its suitability for growing 12 crops. Data reveal that soil profiles from El Emam Malek and El-Esraa farms are placed at high suitable (S2) and moderate suitable (S3) for growing crops, while soils represented by profiles 5 and 6 are placed at non-suitable (S5) for growing crops, the limiting factors for agricultural production are soil texture and exchangeable sodium percent (ESP) in the most of soil profiles. Key words: Land suitability, Land capability, Remote sensing, Geographic Information System, AlBostan area. INTRODUCTION Production and research station of National Research Centre, which including El-Emam Malek farm (145 feddans) and El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm (160 feddans). The study area lies to the North West of the Nile Delta of Egypt between 30 29 N and 30 19 E (El-Emam Malek farm) and 30 30 N to 30 21 E (El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm) Map (1). The aim of the present study is to evaluate land capability and suitability for growing different crops. Such work will be useful for agricultural development policy of the region under consideration. The climate of the studied area is situated in the desert zone of Egypt which characterized by hot dry summer and warm winter. The maximum air temperature is 31.6C in August, while the minimum air temperature is 7.4C in January. The maximum rainfall is 10.30 mm in December, while the minimum rainfall is 0.00 in June, July and August. The relative air humidity shows the highest value is 69.7 % in January, while the lowest value is 53% in July. The highest wind speed is 21.1km/hr in April[1]. Parent material of the studied soils is sand deposits. The digital elevation model (DEM) is illustrated in Maps 2 and 3, shows that elevation ranges from 23-48 m A.S.L. at El-Emam Malek farm and 13-42m A.S.L. at El-Esraa and ElMearage farm.Corresponding Author:

The main resource of irrigation water at Al-Bostan area is El-Nubariya canal through Al-Bostan canal except for some areas that irrigated by artesian wells water[2]. The identified soils of West Nubariya, Egypt according to analyzed data from both landsat MSS and SPOT high resolution visible, belong to Entisols and Aridisols[3] . Soils of some newly areas in Nubariya could be classified as: Typic Torripsamments, Typic Calciorthids and Typic P aleorthids[4] . While soils of West Nubariya classified to, Typic Calciorthids, Calcic Gypsiorthids, Cambic Gypsiorthids, Typic Torriorthents, and Lithic Torriorthents[5]. The area extends to cover seven villages at West Nubariya which represent the first stage of reclamation soils classified to Haploclaci-gypsids, Haplocalcids, Petrocalcids and Petrogypsids[6] . Many areas which locate in Nubariya for sustainable agricultural development through out the integration of GIS/RS techniques, with link cluster analysis, classified as, Typic Haplosalids, Typic To r r ip s a m m e n t s, Ty p ic H a p lo gy p sid s, Ty p ic Calcigypsids and Typic Haplocalcids[6]. Designed a computer program [7] (SSCC) based on [8 ] have been used to determine quantitatively soil suitability for certain crops and named this method. The concept of SSCC program is to match soil characteristics with crops requirements (includes climatic requirement) the possibility for including more

M.Z. Salem, Soils and Water Use Dept., National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt.

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Map 1: Location map of the production and research station of National Research Centre, Landsat (ETM 2001)

Map 2: Digital elevation model of El-Emam Malek farm

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Map 3: Digital elevation model of El Esraa and El- Merage farm crops. The limitations are gravel %, salinity, ESP, depth and slope. The formula is as follows IS = A.B.C.D.E.F.G.H. The suggested quantitative systems[9] were more suitable under the Egyptian conditions, where the results were compatible and added that[10,11] it could be considered prevailing in the soils of Egypt. On the other hand [12] reported that the quantitative land capability classification also worked out following the modified system[11] . The main objectives of land evaluation are to assess the suitability of different tracts of land for specific alternative forms of rural land use [13] . 5.46 % of total area of newly reclaimed areas in Nubariya area high suitable only for olives and moderately suitable for potato, pepper, onion, garlic, watermelon, apples, almond, date palms, citrus, grape and pea [4]. Land capability classification indicated that soils of W est Nubariya belong to class 1(9.34%), class II (20.74%) and class III (70.10%). Land suitability classification was carried out for wheat, alfalfa, maize and watermelon [14] . While land capability classification of the soils of branch 20 areas of West Nubariya belong to class I, II, III and IV [6] . Land suitability evaluation for wheat, maize, citrus and banana respectively, have been done in the same study. The changes in soil characteristics and soil quality under different land use periods and management practices (cropping patterns, irrigation systems, water recourses and quality were compare and analyze 487 also the study dealt with land capability and land suitability[1 5] in sandy soils at El Bostan region, and found that the capability classes of the investigated area are classes (C3) moderate, (C4) marginal, while most of the studied soils are moderately (class 3) to low (class 4) suitable for tested crops. The main limiting factors in all the studied soils are soil texture, sodium saturation, salinity, useful depth and carbonate content. MATERIALS AND METHODS Eighteen soil profiles were chosen to represent the studied area which covering about 305 feddans. Ten soil profiles from El-Emam Malek farm and eight profiles from El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm. The profiles were morphologically described[16] . Fifty five soil samples were collected for the following analyses; particle size distribution using standard sieving technique [ 1 7] , soil moisture constants [ 1 8 ] , hydraulic conductivity in disturbed soil samples [ 19], soil reaction (pH) of soil water suspension (1:2.5), EC (dS/m) of soil extract (1:1), soluble cations and anions, Cation exchange capacity (CEC), calcium carbonate content (CaCO 3 %) and gypsum content[20] . Soil classification was carried out [21] . Land capability classification was performed on the study area [22] , while land suitability classification was

Res. J. Agric. & Biol. Sci., 4(5): 485-499, 2008

performed using MicroLIES Almagra evaluation model[23] . The main soil characteristics considered in this system as follow: useful depth, texture, drainage, calcium carbonate content, salinity, sodium saturation and degree of development of the profile. GIS Database: GIS database of production and research station soils was established in Arc GIS 9.0 software. The database was started by create a base maps of the farms, which includes a number of 120 observation points. These points were observed to get the spot height and geographic position by GPS of the surface features of the farms. The database include a set of thematic maps such as location of the farm, contour lines, surface layout of the farms, location of the soil profiles, gravel distribution, alkalinity, salinity, cation exchange capacity, calcium carbonate distribution and soil depth. These maps were produced depend upon the attribute data of the observation points and soil profile analyses. The GIS database includes detailed description and laboratory analyses of 18 soil profiles and land suitability for growing 12 crops.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Physical properties: Data in Table (1) show that the particle size distribution of the studied soil profiles, the soil texture was sandy, where the sand fraction more than 94%, with very low percent of clay and silt fractions. The gravels percent ranged between 10 90% in El-Emam Malek (profiles 3, 4, 5 and 6), while it is ranging from 2-24% at El-Esraa and El-Mearage farms (profiles 12, 13, 14, 15 and 18). The soil moisture constants presented in Table (2), the available water (AW%) was low and ranged between 5.4-9.9%, of El-Emam Malek farm and 6.710.7 of El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm. This is expected due to the relatively low clay content and consequently low water holding capacity. Soil hydraulic conductivity (HC) was high values in the study area and ranged between 14.3-25.1 cm/hr, these high values may be attributed to be sandy texture of the soils. Chemical Properties: The data presented in Table (3) show that the soil salinity (EC/dS/m) in most profiles

Table 1: Particle size distribution of the studied soil profiles Profile No. Depth (cm) Gravel % VCS% CS % MS % FS % VFS % Silt+clay % Texture El-Emam Malek farm 1 0-20 2.44 11.12 32.34 34.85 15.73 3.25 Sandy 20-60 1.55 10.45 33.32 32.45 18.76 3.47 Sandy 60-150 2.21 20.23 40.35 28.35 6.55 2.31 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2 0-40 14.14 11.27 34.25 32.22 4.89 3.23 Coarse nd 40-150 15.22 13.23 28.53 33.45 5.36 4.21 Coarse sand -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3 0-150 10 22.32 19.45 33.45 10.21 7.57 2.32 Coarse sand -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 0-30 13 12.34 20.22 30.41 30.22 4.49 2.32 Coarse sand 30-50 18 10.11 8.23 20.31 52.13 5.91 3.31 Fine sand 50-70 95 7.25 10.25 30.22 30.44 18.39 3.45 Sandy 70-150 79 6.35 7.32 28.22 34.2 19.66 4.25 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 0-50 38 3.45 7.75 30.23 37.22 19.03 2.32 Sandy 50-70 59 1.54 2.75 23.12 54.47 14.37 3.75 Sandy 70-150 2.54 8.73 33.24 36.35 14.89 4.25 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6 0-60 40 10.11 13.45 37.21 30.25 5.75 3.23 Sandy 60-150 10 8.72 7.15 21.21 51.24 7.44 4.24 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 0-70 12.57 18.23 32.03 31.23 3.22 2.72 Fine sand 70-150 7.53 10.23 30.23 41.02 6.68 4.31 Coarse sand -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 0-60 10.32 11.24 30.23 38.39 7.47 2.35 Sandy 60-150 9.24 10.25 34.23 40.21 2.74 3.33 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9 0-50 17.22 6.22 34.32 29.51 10.28 2.45 Sandy 50-93 9.25 10.25 37.22 30.21 9.35 3.72 Sandy 93-125 6.32 3.25 27.21 50.21 9.19 3.84 Sandy 125-150 9.28 11.23 32.11 34.22 8.61 4.55 Fine sand -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------10 0-20 16.11 7.35 28.32 32.12 12.89 3.21 Sandy 20-50 10.15 11.23 29.22 34.55 11.31 3.45 Sandy 50-120 11.55 12.34 30.22 36.12 5.56 4.21 Sandy 120-150 10.13 8.21 33.34 37.22 7.32 3.78 Sandy ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Sci., 4(5): 485-499, 2008Table 1: Continued El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm 0-30 11.13 17.25 30.25 34.21 4.84 2.32 andy 30-60 12.13 10.4 37.25 32.31 4.8 3.11 Sandy 60-90 5.32 4.91 28.23 52.33 5.68 3.53 Fine sand 90-150 7.83 10.11 35.33 33.24 9.28 4.12 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12 0-35 6 11.35 20.22 26.45 33.2 5.55 3.23 Coarse sand 35-65 8 8.75 10.22 30.23 40.11 6.88 3.81 Sandy 65-90 14 3.52 7.23 28.22 50.42 6.4 4.21 [Fine sand 90-140 9.27 10.11 33.21 30.22 13.34 3.85 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13 0-40 9 10.23 11.33 37.22 30.33 8.66 2.23 Sandy 40-80 15 9.23 10.45 38.33 31.23 7.64 3.12 Sandy 80-150 10 8.75 11.33 40.11 28.32 7.38 4.11 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------14 0-40 5 12.14 18.45 32.23 30.31 4.7 5.17 Sandy 40-65 3 10.32 11.21 35.23 28.31 11.8 3.13 Sandy 65-150 3 9.24 10.34 36.24 33.21 6.81 4.15 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 0-30 7 10.13 13.11 34.22 31.31 8 3.23 Sandy 30-50 2 9.58 10.21 37.22 34.23 4.64 4.12 Sandy 50-70 2 5.35 6.21 26.23 53.2 5.46 3.55 Fine sand 70-150 24 7.52 5.62 40.24 30.21 12.18 4.23 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16 0-30 9.53 10.11 34.33 37.22 6.46 2.35 Sandy 30-50 2 5.63 9.52 26.23 50.21 4.56 3.85 [Fine sand 50-110 9.53 12.11 34.55 30.22 10.19 3.4 Sandy 110-150 8.25 9.32 35.32 33.14 9.55 4.42 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------17 0-30 13.22 14.23 34.32 32.33 3.58 2.32 Sandy 30-70 9.32 10.34 35.22 37.33 4.34 3.45 Coarse sand 70-110 4.56 9.23 24.11 54.32 3.98 3.8 Fine sand 110-150 5.72 10.22 33.22 34.54 12.07 4.23 Sandy -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18 0-25 10 10.22 9.32 34.35 30.21 12.55 3.35 Sandy 25-60 15 9.72 10.55 36.23 31.23 8.47 3.8 Sandy Where: V=very; C= coarse; F= fine; M= medium; S=sand 11 Table 2: Soil moisture constants of the studied soil profiles Profile No. Depth (m) SP% Texture FC% WP % AW% HC cm/hr El-Emam Malek farm 1 0-20 20 Sandy 14.2 6.2 8.0 18.2 20-60 19 Sandy 14.5 5.4 9.1 17.1 60-150 20 Sandy 13.1 4.6 8.5 19.5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2 0-40 19 Coarse nd 12.8 4.2 8.6 20.5 40-150 20 Coarse sand 13.4 4.5 8.9 20.1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3 0-150 21 Coarse sand 14.3 4.4 9.9 18.4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 0-30 28 Coarse sand 14.3 4.4 9.9* 18.4 30-50 25 Fine sand 12.5 4.1 8.4 21.3 50-70 26 Sandy 12.1 4.3 7.8 20.7 70-150 28 Sandy 13.2 5.1 8.1 19.3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 0-50 21 Sandy 15.4 7.2 8.2 17.1 50-70 23 Sandy 14.8 5.6 9.1 18.6 70-150 20 Sandy 15.2 6.7 8.5 16.7 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6 0-60 16 Sandy 12.6 5.1 7.5 22.4 60-150 21 Sandy 9.5 3.4 6.1 24.7 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 0-70 19 Fine sand 11.2 4.3 6.9 22.3 70-150 20 Coarse sand 10.2 4.1 6.1 23.4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 0-60 17 Sandy 9.8 3.7 6.1 25.1 60-150 18 Sandy 13.2 5.2 8.0 21.6 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9 0-50 21 Sandy 10.1 4.7 5.4 22.5 50-93 19 Sandy 13.5 5.6 7.9 19 93-125 22 Sandy 12.5 4.6 7.9 21.5 125-150 24 Fine sand 12.2 4.4 7.8 22.3 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Sandy 10.6 3.8 6.8 24.1 Sandy 14.3 4.6 9.7 19.5 Sandy 15.2 5.8 9.4 17.4 Sandy 13.7 4.3 9.4 19.3 El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm 11 0-30 15 sandy 4.2 4.2 10 18 30-60 17 Sandy 3.9 3.9 9.3 20.1 60-90 16 Fine sand 3.5 3.5 9.3 21.5 90-150 25 Sandy 3.3 3.3 9.3 20.7 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12 0-35 19 Coarse sand 5.7 5.7 9.5 15.2 35-65 20 Sandy 5.6 5.6 10 14.3 65-90 22 [Fine sand 4.2 4.2 8.1 22.4 90-140 25 Sandy 4.1 4.1 8.6 23.1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13 0-40 22 Sandy 3.5 3.5 9.1 22.8 40-80 20 Sandy 3.8 3.8 9.6 20.4 80-150 25 Sandy 5.2 5.2 10 14.9 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------14 0-40 20 Sandy 4.2 4.2 8.3 21.5 40-65 22 Sandy 4.4 4.4 8.4 20.8 65-150 25 Sandy 5.8 5.8 10.3 18.4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 0-30 21 Sandy 4.7 4.7 9.80 16.7 30-50 25 Sandy 5.3 5.3 10 15.2 50-70 23 Fine sand 5.7 5.7 9.9 14.7 70-150 28 Sandy 4.8 4.8 10.4 15.5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16 0-30 16 Sandy 4.2 4.2 7.7 19.6 30-50 18 [Fine sand 4.6 4.6 7.9 21.4 50-110 18 Sandy 4.5 4.5 7.9 22.1 110-150 22 Sandy 4.8 4.8 8.4 20.8 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------17 0-30 20 Sandy 5.6 5.6 9.6 15.2 30-70 15 Coarse sand 4.2 4.2 9.0 18.9 70-110 20 Fine sand 4.1 4.1 9.3 19.1 110-150 23 Sandy 3.7 3.7 9.1 21.5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18 0-25 22 Sandy 3.5 3.5 6.7 22.4 25-60 16 Sandy 4.2 4.2 8.4 20.4 Where: SP= saturation percent, FC= field capacity, WP= wilting point, AW= available water, HC= hydraulic conductivity.

0-20 20-50 50-120 120-150

24 22 22 22

Map 4: Soil salinity distribution of El-Emam Malek farm 490

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Map 5: Soil salinity distribution of El Esraa and El- Merage farmTable 3: Some chemical properties of the studied soil profiles Profile Depth O.M. pH EC Ca Gypsum Exch. Cations meq/100g) CEC (meq/ SAR ESP No. (cm) % 1:2.5 (dS/m) CO 3 K+ Na+ Mg++ Ca+ 100g soil) % El-Emam Malek farm 1 0-20 0.61 8.55 0.19 4.68 0.5 1.5 2.5 3.5 8.0 1.6 16.25 20-60 0.44 8.36 0.19 5.85 0.6 1.3 2.2 3.1 7.2 1.7 15.41 60-150 8.6 0.28 4.69 0.12 0.5 1.7 2.6 3.9 8.7 1.7 16.32 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2 0-40 0.53 8.7 0.82 5.85 0.62 0.3 2.5 3.3 4.4 10.5 6.5 23.81 40-150 0.32 8.62 0.26 3.51 0.12 0.5 1.6 2.5 4 8.6 1.3 16.05 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3 0-150 0.14 8.42 0.25 4.68 0.08 0.6 1.7 2.7 3.6 8.6 1.6 11.18 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 0-30 0.92 8.43 0.22 5.85 0.6 1.5 2 3 7.1 1.5 17.18 30-50 0.46 8.44 0.35 1.17 0.07 0.4 2 2.8 4.2 9.4 1.7 17.02 50-70 0.11 8.62 0.34 2.34 0.09 0.5 2.1 2.6 4 9.2 1.8 18.26 70-150 0.1 8.68 0.25 4.68 0.03 0.3 1.5 2 3.5 7.3 1.6 15.89 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 0-50 0.83 8.75 0.27 10.53 0.07 0.4 1.5 2.1 3.8 7.8 1.4 16.03 50-70 0.22 8.75 0.42 4.68 0.09 0.7 2.2 2.9 4.3 10.1 1.9 17.43 70-150 8.75 0.21 10.53 0.05 0.5 1.5 1.8 2.9 6.7 1.8 18.81 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6 0-60 0.3 8.53 0.17 12.87 0.4 1 1.1 2 4.5 1.5 19.02 60-150 0.1 9.3 0.38 13.34 0.12 0.6 1.9 3 4 8.5 1.6 18.35 7 0-70 0.62 8.48 0.2 12.87 0.4 1.2 1.6 3 5.2 1.5 19.42 70-150 8.62 0.15 10.53 0.3 1 1.1 2 4.4 1.4 19.1 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 0-60 0.77 8.58 0.26 9.36 0.03 0.4 1.5 1.9 3 6.8 1.3 19.26 60-150 0.25 8.41 0.24 4.68 0.02 0.4 1.2 1.3 2.5 5.4 1.4 18.52 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9 0-50 0.65 8.7 0.2 7.02 0.3 1.1 1 1.8 4.2 1.5 21.19 50-93 0.25 9.77 0.28 2.34 0.06 0.5 1.4 2 3.2 6.1 1.4 19.18 93-125 0.1 9.32 0.44 4.68 0.1 0.8 2.6 3.1 4.4 10.9 2.2 19.45 125-150 9.11 0.37 3.51 0.08 0.5 1.7 2.2 3.9 8.3 1.5 16.14 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Res. J. Agric. & Biol. Sci., 4(5): 485-499, 2008Table 3: Continued 10 0-20 20-50 50-110 110-135

4.68 0.08 0.7 2.2 2.5 4 9.4 2.0 18.3 3.51 0.02 0.6 1.4 2.1 3 7.1 1.4 16.06 4.68 0.5 0.9 0.9 1.9 4.2 1.3 17.14 3.51 0.6 0.8 0.9 2 4.3 1.1 15.12 El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm 11 0-30 0.67 8.28 0.28 3.51 0.03 3.8 2.2 1.4 0.6 8 1.4 15.25 30-60 0.3 8.35 0.25 53.04 0.01 3.2 2 1.5 0.5 7.2 1.6 18.06 60-90 0.2 8.48 0.36 5.85 0.03 4.3 2.9 1.5 0.8 9.5 1.0 13.89 90-150 0.1 8.42 0.42 7.02 0.05 5 3.1 1.6 0.9 10.6 1.0 12.26 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12 0-35 0.3 8.22 0.5 5.85 0.1 5.1 3.3 1.8 1 11.2 1.2 23.81 35-65 0.2 7.92 1.57 10.53 0.19 5 3.2 2.8 1.5 12.5 3.9 10.72 65-90 0.1 8.48 0.35 7.02 0.06 4 2.7 1.5 0.8 9 1.0 14 90-140 8.98 0.49 6.08 0.07 4.3 3.1 2.5 1 10.9 1.8 18.34 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13 0-40 0.4 8.2 1.05 7.02 0.09 5.3 4 3.5 1.1 13.9 2.5 18.53 40-80 0.2 8.11 1.29 5.85 0.3 5.5 3.3 2.7 1 12.5 2.9 13.28 80-150 8.6 0.24 4.68 3 2.1 1.5 0.7 7.3 1.5 16.71 14 0-40 0.67 8.59 0.22 4.21 2.8 1.9 1.4 0.6 6.7 1.6 17.61 15.52 40-65 0.4 8.57 0.24 9.36 0.01 2.9 2 1.3 0.5 6.7 1.6 16.15 65-150 0.1 8.3 0.22 7.02 2.7 1.9 1.3 0.6 6.5 1.5 15.0 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 0-30 0.43 8.45 0.25 5.85 0.02 3.0 2.0 1.5 0.7 7.2 1.6 17.36 20-50 0.2 8.4 0.21 9.36 0.6 2.9 1.9 1.4 0.5 5.7 1.6 19.65 50-70 0.11 8.45 0.24 9.83 0.7 3.3 2.5 1.5 0.7 8 1.2 15.88 70-150 8.38 0.47 8.19 0.04 4.9 3.3 2.8 0.9 11.5 2.3 17.74 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16 0-30 0.32 8.36 0.22 5.85 2.8 1.7 1.3 0.7 6.5 1.5 17.23 30-50 0.22 8.44 0.18 7.02 2.3 1.5 1.2 0.5 5.5 1.7 18.55 50-110 0.12 8.49 0.2 4.68 2.5 1.6 1.3 0.6 6 1.5 18.67 110-150 8.39 0.27 8.19 0.02 3.1 2.3 1.5 0.7 7.6 1.1 16.84 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------17 0-30 0.43 8.35 0.18 5.85 2 1.3 1.2 0.5 5 1.7 20.0 30-70 0.11 8.41 0.2 4.68 2.2 1.4 1.2 0.3 5.1 1.7 20.0 70-110 0.09 8.42 0.2 4.21 2.2 1.4 1.3 0.4 5.3 1.5 20.2 110-150 0.05 8.12 1.64 12.87 0.08 5.1 3.4 2.7 1.2 12.4 4.0 20.75 25-60 0.08 8.46 0.2 6.32 0.01 2.4 1.7 1.2 0.5 5.8 1.3 7.50 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18 0-25 0.21 8.27 0.29 5.85 0.03 0.9 1.5 2.8 3.5 8.7 1.3 14.25 25-60 0.08 8.46 0.2 6.23 0.01 0.5 1.2 1.7 2.4 5.8 1.3 18.28

0.87 0.27 0.09 -

8.5 8.65 8.62 8.79

0.43 0.28 0.16 0.16

is non-saline and EC values ranged between 0.15 1.64 dS/m in the studied soil profiles, Maps (4 and 5). pH value is slightly alkaline to alkaline and ranged between 7.92 to 9.32 and there is no specific trend with depth in the studied soil profiles. Organic matter content (OM %) was very low as that soil is newly cultivated and organic matter ranged from 0.08 to 0.92%. The Calcium carbonate content have wide variation and ranged between1.17 to 13.34 and 3.04 to 12.87 % at El-Emam Malek and El-Esraa and El-Mearage farms, respectively, Maps (6, 7). Gypsum content is very low in most studied profiles and ranged between 0.1-0.7%. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) is low and ranged between 4.2-10.9 meq/100g soil and 5.0-13.9 meq/100g soil at ElEmam Malek and El-Esraa and El-Mearage farms,

respectively, Maps (8 and 9), this is due to the coarse texture and low content of clay and organic matter. Exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) value ranged between 7.5- 23.81, in most soil profiles, Maps (10 and 11). Soil Classification: The climatic conditions prevailing in the studied area, the morphological characteristics of the studied soil profiles, the physical and chemical properties of the soils, therefore the studied soil profiles were classified to Entisols as Typic Torripsamments[22] . Land Capability Evaluation: Land capability evaluation of the studied area was performed[23] . The outputs from the land evaluation software linked

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Map 6: Calcium carbonate distribution of El-Emam Malek farm

Map 7: Calcium carbonate distribution of El Esraa and El- Merage farm

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Map 8: Cation exchange capacity distribution of El-Emam Malek farm

Map 9: Cation exchange capacity distribution of El Esraa and El- Merage farm

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Map 10: Exchangeable sodium percent distribution of El-Emam Malek farm

Map 11: Exchangeable sodium percent distribution of El Esraa farm

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The main limiting factors for capability classes of El-Emam Malek and El-Esraa are gravel percentage (G %), available moisture percent (AM%)exchangeable sodium percent (ESP) and cation exchange capacity (CEC), Map (12), while the limiting factors for

capability classes of El Esraa farm are available moisture percent (AM%) exchangeable sodium percent (ESP) and cation exchange capacity (CEC), Map (13) but these soils may need different management to recover the productive capability.

Map 12: Limiting factors for land capability class of El-Emam Malek farm

Map 13: Limiting factors for land capability class of El Esraa and El- Merage farm

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to the GIS software (Arc Map 9.0) across a database file and different queries were carried out to get the final outputted maps. Data reveal that the capability

classes of soil for most studied profiles belonging to class (C4) Table (4).

Table 4: Capability class of the studied soil profiles Soil factors Profile no. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Capability class Limiting factors A B C D E F G H El Emam Malek Farm 1 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C4 B, H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2 3 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C 4 A, B, H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3 3 4 1 1 2 1 1 3 C 4 A, B, H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 3 4 1 1 4 1 1 3 C 4 A, B, E, H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 3 4 1 1 3 1 1 3 C 4 A, B, E, H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6 3 4 1 1 3 1 1 3 C4 A, B, E, H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C4 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C4 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C4 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------10 3 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C4 A, B, H El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm 11 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C4 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12 3 4 1 1 2 1 1 3 C4 A, B, H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13 2 3 1 1 2 1 1 3 C3 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------14 2 4 1 1 2 1 1 3 C4 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 2 4 1 1 2 1 1 3 C4 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C4 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------17 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 3 C4 B,H ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18 4 4 2 3 2 1 1 3 C4 A, B, H Where: A= Available moisture content (%), B= Cation exchange capacity (meq/100g soil, C= Drainage condition (class), D= Soil depth (cm), E= Gravel %, F= Slope, G= Salinity (EC in dS/m) and H= Exchangeable so d ium p ercent (ESP).Capability class: C1= Excellent for cultivation, C2= Moderate, C3 = Good, C4 = Poor for cultivation.

Land Suitability Evaluation: Different land suitability classes and indices 12 crops were predicted based on the matching between land qualities and characteristics and crop standard requirements using Almagra program through MicroLIES evaluation software [23] . Evaluated crops are wheat, corn, watermelon, potato, soybean, cotton, sunflower, sugar beet, alfalfa, peach, citrus and olive. Data shown in Table (5), indicated that the studied soil profiles of El-Emam Malek farm are moderately suitable (S3) for growing crops, while the soils represented by profiles 5 and 6 are placed at non-

suitable (S5) for growing crops. Soils of El-Esraa and El-Mearage farm are placed at high suitable (S2) and moderate suitable (S3) for growing all crops. The main limiting factors for agricultural production are soil texture and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) in the most profiles, except soils represented by profile 18; the limiting factors are exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) and soil depth. The obtained results help the decision makers in defining the optimum agricultural land use in the area.

Table 5: Land suitability of the studied soil profiles in NRC Farm crops Profile no. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Limiting factors Wheat Corn Water Potato Soya Cotton Sun Sugar Alfalfa Peach Citrus Olive melon bean flower beet El Emam Malek farm 1 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a, t ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Res. J. Agric. & Biol. Sci., 4(5): 485-499, 2008Table 5: Continued 2 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a, t -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a, t, d -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a, t, d -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 t, d, a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 t, a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------10 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a El-Esraa farm 11 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 t, a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 t, a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------14 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 t, a -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------15 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a, t -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a, t -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------17 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 a, t -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 ds, a Where: suitability class: S1 = optimum suitability, S2= High suitable, S3= Moderate suitable, S 4 = Marginal suitability, S5 = no suitability.

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