Agricultural Intensification on Brazils Amazonian Soybean Frontier
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Mechanized agriculture in Brazil's Amazon Basin predominantly occurs in the states of Mato Grosso and Rondnia, with a production trend moving from south to north. We focus our attention on the land-change imprint of capital-intensive, mechanized agricultural operations, particularly land-use intensification on the soybean frontier region in the municipality of Vilhena, Rondnia. Assessing the land-change imprint of modern agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon, however, requires a step-by-step approach that separates land-change analysis of land-cover classes (e.g., forest to agriculture) from changes within classes (e.g., pasture to agriculture; rice production to soybean production). With the moderate spatial resolution, high temporal resolution satellite remote sensing, it is possible to obtain data on land modification processes related to agricultural intensification. Previous research has shown that cropping frequency, as a surrogate for agricultural intensity, can be mapped on an annual basis using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). This research presents research that links land tenancy of mechanized farming to cropping frequency data extracted from MODIS 250 m imagery from 2001 to 2005. 2008 Springer-Verlag US.