Land engineering and its role for sustainable agriculture in the agro-pastoral ecotone: The case study of Yulin, Shaanxi Province, China

Authors: Wenhao Wu*, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Yansui Liu, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yuheng Li, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yongsheng Wang, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Topics: Rural Geography, China, Sustainability Science
Keywords: Agro-pastoral ecotone, Land engineering, Degraded land consolidation, Human-land relationship, Sustainability
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: 8223, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With the global climate change, the agricultural light-temperature potential productivity in the agro-pastoral ecotone has increased. This offers good opportunity to develop agriculture in the agro-pastoral ecotone. However, the agro-pastoral ecotone is also an ecologically fragile area in which land degradation challenges agricultural development. As population grows and the need for food increases, the land carrying capacity of the agro-pastoral ecotone becomes insufficient, and the human-land relationship is disharmonious. These conditions have limited the agricultural and rural development in the ecotone. The paper introduces how land engineering improves land quality and supports agricultural development in the ecotone based on the research station which was established in 2015 in Yulin, Shaanxi Province, China. The experiments content includes three items: soil improvement, crop selection and field management. The results show that: 1. The highest yield of crops planted on improved land is close to or even higher than that of ordinary peasants. The corn yields can exceed 25%; 2. The potato grown on the improved land has the highest gross income and reaches 67200 yuan per hectare. By way of land engineering, input cost can be balanced in 3-5 years. 3. Using land engineering, some villages in Yulin City have realized the agricultural and even rural development, and promoting this model will support the sustainable development of agriculture in the agro-pastoral ecotone.

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