Farm-scale land use capability classification for Auckland

Author:
Douglas Hicks, Vanessa Vujcich
Source:
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:
2017
Topics:
Land useSoil

FARM LUC (farm land use capability) is a land use capability classification for farm-scale maps (up to 1:10,000). It provides more detail than, though remains interchangeable with, the regional-scale (1:50,000) NZLRI (New Zealand Land Resource Inventory) LUC layer in Auckland Council’s GIS.

The rationale for FARM LUC is to provide a map format which landowners find easier to understand, and more information as an aid for land management, than the existing NZLRI LUC sub-classes and units. It retains existing LUC classes 1 to 8, replaces four sub-classes (indicating general limitations to land use) with 20 specific sub-classes, and replaces unit numbers (denoting different kinds of land but three inconsistent number sets) with a single set of character suffixes.

When preparing a FARM LUC map, land inventory recording and land use capability classification remain consistent with standard procedure as described in the Land Use Capability Handbook (Lynn et al 2009).

This report documents how FARM LUC has been developed and trialled on farm-scale maps prepared by Auckland Council between 2011 and 2015. The classification has also been used on a number of maps prepared privately for Auckland landowners. The maps are currently used to advise landowners about sustaining current use, reducing environmental impact, or changing it. Examples are adjustments to fertiliser application or grazing management, identifying sites for land application of dairy effluent, erosion control plantings, and riparian retirement.

A region-wide NZLRI – FARM LUC conversion layer was entered into GIS in 2016 by examining inventory recorded for each 1:50,000 NZLRI LUC polygon, and identifying a corresponding FARM LUC classification. The conversion layer is regional scale (1:50,000), so any map printed from it will only be suitable for illustrative purposes. Such a map must never be used in planning procedures which relate to a particular property because:
• it depicts the main FARM LUC class/sub-class/suffix which would be recorded, if a 1:50,000 NZLRI LUC polygon were to be remapped at farm-scale,
• other FARM LUC classes/sub-classes/suffixes are present inside each polygon’s boundary, but the conversion layer does not indicate their location or extent,
• to find out for a particular property, it is necessary to field-map FARM LUC at a scale appropriate for the current or intended land use.

When preparing the farm-scale maps, land inventory recording and land use capability classification remain consistent with standard procedure as described in the Land Use Capability Handbook used by regional councils nationwide.

Auckland Council technical report, TR2017/016

See also:

Matching farm production data to land use capability for Auckland, TR2017/020

 

Last updated: 2018-02-19