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I have given the task to create Digital Elevation Model (DEM)'s of an agricultural area. I am programmer with Computer Science background and very new to GIS can anyone explain what is advantage of using Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in agriculture ?

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According to me your question is huge.Please go through following research paper – Sunil Jun 5 '13 at 18:02
thanks Sunil i will check it out.. – Zain Ali Mughal Jun 5 '13 at 18:08

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Some uses of DEM in agriculture, that were not cited yet:

1- Location of surveillance towers for fire detection and control;

Guth, P. et al (2005). Fire location from a single Osborne firefinder and a DEM. ASPRS Annual Conference. Baltimore, Maryland.

2- Location of roads,bridges,culverts and construction of terraces aiming to avoid erosion;

3- Crop transportation (both harvest/yarding and main transportation);

Gumus, S., & Acar, H. H. (2009). Evaluation of consecutive skylines yarding and gravity skidding systems in primary forest transportation on steep terrain. Journal of Environmental Biology, 31, 213-218.

4- Cultivation planning (such as soil preparation, fertilization, weed control) aiming to verify if it is possible to mechanize activities;

Jasinski, E. et al (2005). Physical Landscape Correlates of the Expansion of Mechanized Agriculture in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Earth interactions, 9, 1-18.

5- Location/Preservation of forest remnants (e.g. flat areas are more suitable for agriculture than "slopy" areas);

Sesnie, S. E., Hagell, S. E., Otterstrom, S. M., Chambers, C. L., & Dickson, B. G. (2008). SRTM-DEM and Landsat ETM + data for mapping tropical dry forest cover and biodiversity assessment in Nicaragua. Revista Geográfica Acadêmica, 2(2), 53–65.

6- Soil sampling regarding soil classification (first time planning and cultivating an area);

McBratney, A. ., Mendonça Santos, M. ., & Minasny, B. (2003). On digital soil mapping. Geoderma, 117(1-2), 3–52. doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(03)00223-4

7- Appraisal of agricultural lands;

Sakai, T., & Chikatsu, H. (2008). Visualization of road slope aspect for fixed property appraisal of lands using DEM. In ISPRS Commission II, WG II /5 (Vol. XXXVII, pp. 655–658). Beijing.

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How to classify soil and evaluate agricultural land using DEM ? can u please provide som example (link). – Zain Ali Mughal Jun 5 '13 at 18:06
It is mainly related to the dynamic of water. Knowing all the elevations of terrain will help one to perform a good sampling regarding soil classification. The second is related the the potential a land has to be cultivated which among other factors is influenced by how much it can be mechanized. I will try to address my answer with examples. – Andre Silva Jun 5 '13 at 18:23
@Zain Ali Mughal, I finished to address my questions with examples (I thought there was no need for example on 2). Hope it helps you somehow. Regarding your first question on previous commentary,see example 6, first paragraph on page 31, for a better comprehension. – Andre Silva Jun 5 '13 at 20:55

Note: I do not working in the agricultural domain, so these are thoughts based on what I would use a DEM for if I were doing large scale planting in a non-commercial way.

Crop siting: If I have a DEM I can derive the slope and aspect of each pixel in relation to the adjacent pixels. From this I can estimate the potential difficulty in planting and water runoff (slope) as well as the quantity of sunlight I might expect(aspect).

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