Land Capability Assessment for Agricultural Land Use

This is an essential component on what your land can achieve as is and forms the bases of the use along with the soil testing.

Agricultural land in Victoria is classed to five (5) levels with land Class 1 and 2 being highly productive agricultural classes; although land class 3 with certain components can also be highly productive.

Soil and land are limited resources. They support a range of economic activities under different land uses. Appropriate land use and good management are essential to ensure that these resources are available for future generations. The variable qualities of soil (such as depth, texture, acidity, stoniness) and land (slope, aspect, geology) affect their capability to support different land uses without degradation of the soil resource. Land capability assessment is the term used describe various approaches that have been used since the 1960s (Klingebeil and Montgomery, 1961) to classify soil and land attributes according to the constraints or opportunities for particular land uses. In Victoria the Soil Conservation Authority (SCA) and successive government departments have applied systems of land capability classification for a number of land uses, based on the SCA publication of Rowe et al (1981). NRLinks has used Rowe et al for many years however other states in Australia have incorporate many other items into its assessment. QLD has amended to be more concise into 4 levels. Western Australia has a similar structure to Victoria with 5 classes.


The Agricultural land classes are:


Land Capability - NR LinksCapability Ratings

Five land capability classes are commonly used in Western Australia. Most properties consist of land with a range of capability classes. These classes are specific to the land use being considered. This means that the same area could be classed as capability class 1 for one use, and class 5 for another use.


Technical Report- Assessment of Agricultural Land Capability in Melbourne’s Green Wedge and Peri-urban Areas – October 2018.

Land capability is the ability of land to support a given land use without causing damage. Assessment of land capability considers the specific requirements of the land use (e.g., rooting depth of soil water availability) and the risks of degradation associated with the land use (e.g., phosphorus export hazard or wind eroision).

Land capability assessments are a first step in assessing land suitability for a given use. ‘Suitability’ considers other factors such as economics, infrastructure requirements, labour access, water and energy access, conflicting and complementary land uses, and the policy framework.

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