Land classification assists in identifying optimal crop selection for a given field, and land use capability gives an indication of potential agronomic productivity. However, these approaches are most germane to farming systems managed with high technology. This study sought to adapt land use capability to farming systems managed with low and intermediate levels of technology. Assessment of the classification criteria was conducted using erosion data as a primary indicator. The adapted (and currently in effect) criteria were compared in three regions in Minas Gerais, Brazil, each one representing one of the management levels. Erosion often results from inappropriate practices in land use or management. Therefore, maps of adequacy of land use and management were used to measure how well each one corresponded to the erosion map. The adapted criteria changed the spatial distribution of the classes of land use capability in different ways. Correspondence between the land use/management map and the erosion map increased from 71% to 88.5% when the criteria adapted to an intermediate level of management were used. It also increased from 62.9% to 66.7% when the criteria adapted to a low level of management were considered, better reflecting current erosion. Therefore, adopting adapted classification criteria is recommended for planning land use in locations where farming systems with low and intermediate levels of management are common, requiring re-adaptation and reassessment depending on socio-environmental factors.
- land management
- land use capability