Calculating Distribution and Intensity of Agricultural Traffic for Sustainable Development

A. Hospers, M.A. Louwsma, R.J.A. van Lammeren, P.P. Kuiper

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic


Land from many holdings is dispersed, which compels farmers to use public roads to access distant parcels. Agricultural traffic is different from other traffic with its large and heavy vehicles. When agricultural traffic mixes with other traffic, safety issues may arise. Another issue of agricultural traffic is its environmental impact. Dispersed land, also called internal land fragmentation, generates extra traffic compared to a situation where all land is located around the farmstead.
Despite the relevance of the topic, little research has been conducted on agricultural traffic in relation to a holdings’ land allocation. That is, how agricultural traffic is distributed over the road network and how intense traffic is. The aim of this research is to develop a GIS model that shows the spatial distribution and intensity of agricultural traffic for a specific area.
First, the route from homestead to distant parcels was determined for all holdings in the region. Then, the number of rides over each route was calculated. Finally, all rides over each road segment were summed up and mapped. Four factors that influence the number of rides (crop type, soil type, parcel size, and dump truck size) have been distinguished based on available literature. An initial run of the model produced a map with expected distribution and intensity of agricultural traffic for two different areas. The model was validated in two ways: by local experts and by traffic counting. For one area, a group of local farmers validated the results for that area. For the other area, the results were compared to available traffic measurements. Based on both validations, the model has been adapted.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventFIG working week 2016 - Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 2 May 20166 May 2016


WorkshopFIG working week 2016
CountryNew Zealand
Internet address

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