Change Of Vegetation Stress On The Canterbury Plains

2022 Words Oct 8th, 2014 9 Pages
CHANGE OF VEGETATION STRESS ON THE CANTERBURY PLAINS DUE TO CHANGES IN FARMING PRACTICES
Hamish Kingsbury, GEOG313, University of Canterbury

CONTENTS
1 Introduction 2
2 Methods 3
2.1 Data 3
2.2 Processing 4
2.3 Analysis 4
2.4 Validating 5
3 Results 6
4 Conclusion 8
4.1 Limitations 8
Appendix A 10
Appendix B 11
Appendix B Cont. 12
Appendix C 13

1 INTRODUCTION
The Canterbury region is the second largest dairy producer in the country (Statistics New Zealand, n.d.). Over the period of 2007 to 2012, the region has seen an increase of 60,000 hectares of irrigated farm land (Hills, 2013) due to the conversion of beef, sheep and crop farms to water intensive dairy farming. There has also been an increase of 58% in the number of dairy farms and a 31% increase in the average herd size of dairy farms (Burns, 2013). For maximum production, sufficient irrigation is required for dairy farms (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2000). Therefore dairying requires at least ten times more water than other farming practices (Ward & McKague, 2007). Over the summer months of December, January and February, this irrigation increase would represent a decrease in the amount of stressed vegetation in the study area.
The study area is a 30km2 section of the Canterbury Plains, situated between the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers (Figure 2), to the west of Christchurch City. It falls within Path 74, Row 90 of Landsat’s reference system. The area encompasses a variety of land use…
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