African Journal of Soil Science

African Journal of Soil Science ISSN 2375-088X Vol. 3 (7), pp. 147-156, July, 2015. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Land suitability evaluation for rainfed production of barley and wheat at Kabe Subwatershed, Northeastern Ethiopia

Alem Hagos Hailu1, Kibebew Kibret2 and Heluf Gebrekidan3

1Department of Soil and Water Resources Management, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

2,3School of Natural Resource Management and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Haramaya, Ethiopia

Corresponding author. Email:

Accepted 23 July, 2015


In developing countries, where resources are often scarce, land availability, productivity potential, capability and sustainability for agriculture and, planning and maximizing the use of the land resources for a particular land utilization type is essential. In order to ensure appropriate decision and, continued and sustainable productivity, thereby continuing to support the population economically without degradation, scientific and proper evaluation is essential. In view of this, land suitability evaluation was carried out for rainfed production of barley and wheat at Kabe Subwatershed. Maximum limitation method was applied for determination of the suitability classes of land characteristics. Results of the ultimate suitability evaluation showed that 9.93% of the study area is marginally suitable (S3) and 38.68% is currently unsuitable (N1) for both spring barley and wheat production under subsistence rainfed agriculture. On the other hand, 51.39% of the study area is permanently unsuitable (N2) for spring wheat production but currently unsuitable (N1) for spring barley production. The potential suitability evaluation remain the same due to permanent limitations related to consistence and slope steepness although the others can be corrected and improved. The limiting but correctable soil and landscape characteristics for the optimum production of the crops evaluated should be corrected or improved based on the level of management.

Key words: land evaluation, physical suitability, maximum limitation, rainfed agriculture.