The Macaulay Institute

Land Allocation Decision Support System

Impact Assessments

Three dimensions of impact assessment are considered within LADSS, economic, social and environmental.

The social impact assessment (SIA) evaluates the labour, machinery and contractor requirement for a pattern of land use on a weekly basis. Windows of opportunity are defined for each job and are influenced by factors such as priority, weather and crop growth. The SIA schedules each job based on the labour and equipment resources available with any remaining unscheduled jobs being contracted.

The example below shows an annual labour profile of available farm labour. The profile shows when additional labour must be employed and when there are opportunities for farm labour to seek off-farm employment.

Labour Profile

The economic impact assessment is currently being redeveloped in order to provide a more sophisticated financial output that will include metrics specified by the Farm Accountancy Data Network such as Gross Farm Income and key ratios such as Farm Net Value Added per Annual Work Unit.

The environmental impact assessments are landscape morphological measures that can be interpreted by experts for their impact on specific species or processes. For example LADSS can determine the length of boundaries between land uses and edge-to-area ratios for each land use. These figures can be used to estimate the suitabilty of a land use pattern for smalls-scale species migration for instance. Additional EIAs will become available with the intergration of CropSyst, for example predicted levels of fertiliser runoff.