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The main objective when starting any land evaluation effort is to clearly define factors to be used for land evaluation and what their respective weights should be. According to Purnell (1979), an evaluation is of the land, not just the soil (SO), and all aspects of the environment need to be considered. The FAO (1985) proposed Guidelines for land evaluation for irrigated agriculture where 32 potential factors for land evaluation were presented (Table 1). ‘The reader should use these Guidelines selectively, as not all the factors listed will be relevant in a given evaluation, but at a level that is consistent with achieving practicable recommendations’ (FAO 1985). Other authors (Maletic & Hutchings 1967; Purnell 1979; Sys et al. 1991; Procedures 2004; Miljkovic 2005; Albaji et al. 2008; Ali 2010; Chen et al. 2010; Srdjevic et al. 2010; Belic et al. 2011; Anane et al. 2012; Tadic 2012; Rabia et al. 2013) proposed different factors for land evaluation for IR, but their description is not necessary for our work (because they are all related to specific locations). A commonality between all the above-mentioned papers is the agreement that factor suitability classes are defined as S1, S2, S3, N1, and N2, indicating, in terms of a single factor or a single interaction of a group of factors, whether the land is highly suited, moderately suited, marginally suited, marginally not suited, or permanently not suited, respectively.

Table 1

Factors for land evaluation for irrigated agriculture (FAO 1985)

Crop (agronomic) 1. Growing period; 2. Radiation; 3. Temperature; 4. Rooting; 5. Aeration; 6. Water requirements; 7. Nutritional requirements (NPK); 8. Water quality limitations; 9. Salinity limitations; 10. Sodicity limitations; 11. pH, micronutrients and toxicities; 12. Pest, disease, weed limitations; 13. Flood, storm, wind, frost, hail limitations 
Management requirements and limitations 14. Location; 15. Water application management requirements; 16. Pre-harvest farm management; 17. Harvest and post-harvest requirements; 18. Requirements for mechanization 
Land development or improvement 19. Land clearing requirements; 20. Flood protection requirements; 21. Drainage requirements; 22. Land grading requirements; 23. Physical, chemical, organic aids and amendments; 24. Leaching requirements; 25. Reclamation period; 26. IR engineering needs 
Conservation and EN requirements 27. Long-term salinity, sodicity hazards; 28. Ground or surface water hazards; 29. Long-term erosion hazards; 30. EN hazards 
Socio-economic requirements 31. Farmers’ attitudes to IR; 32. Others that are class-determining 
Crop (agronomic) 1. Growing period; 2. Radiation; 3. Temperature; 4. Rooting; 5. Aeration; 6. Water requirements; 7. Nutritional requirements (NPK); 8. Water quality limitations; 9. Salinity limitations; 10. Sodicity limitations; 11. pH, micronutrients and toxicities; 12. Pest, disease, weed limitations; 13. Flood, storm, wind, frost, hail limitations 
Management requirements and limitations 14. Location; 15. Water application management requirements; 16. Pre-harvest farm management; 17. Harvest and post-harvest requirements; 18. Requirements for mechanization 
Land development or improvement 19. Land clearing requirements; 20. Flood protection requirements; 21. Drainage requirements; 22. Land grading requirements; 23. Physical, chemical, organic aids and amendments; 24. Leaching requirements; 25. Reclamation period; 26. IR engineering needs 
Conservation and EN requirements 27. Long-term salinity, sodicity hazards; 28. Ground or surface water hazards; 29. Long-term erosion hazards; 30. EN hazards 
Socio-economic requirements 31. Farmers’ attitudes to IR; 32. Others that are class-determining 

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