MDA has GIS models to index the potential primeness of landscapes for agricultural use, to model farmland strategic value and protect farmland.
Agriculture Primeness Modeling
MDA developed a GIS model to index the potential primeness of landscapes for agricultural use. The model uses two compound weighted criteria (physical and socio-economic factors) to map agricultural suitability. Soil quality, slope, access to moisture, land cover, and agriculture supply center access to demand centers for agricultural products, are modeled to produce a composite assessment of the primeness of agricultural lands.
Agriculture Preservation Modeling
MDA developed multicriteria GIS data bases and maps depicting the significance of Chesapeake Bay farmlands. County and statewide hardcopy maps and GIS data bases representing the pattern of Maryland farmland protection, development pressure on farmland, farmland significance from a soils and nonsoils productivity perspective, and farmland nonagricultural significance were produced. MDA synthesized descriptive statistics for each geographic theme.
The map themes and spatial data bases serve as decision support tools for farmland protection management. These models served as inputs to a strategic farmland model that represents farmlands of high potential value as protected farmland in controlling the conversion of farmland to developed land cover.