Abstract: This study’s overarching aim is to establish the areal extent and characteristics of the rapid sugarcane expansion and land use change in São Paulo state (Brazil) as a result of an increase in the demand for ethanol, using Landsat type remotely sensed data. In 2003 flex fuel automobiles started to enter the Brazilian consumer market causing a dramatic expansion of sugarcane areas from 2.57 million ha in 2003 to 4.45 million ha in 2008. Almost all the land use change, for the sugarcane expansion of crop year 2008/09, occurred on pasture and annual crop land, being equally distributed on each. It was also observed that during the 2008 harvest season, the burned sugarcane area was reduced to 50% of the total harvested area in response to a protocol that aims to cease sugarcane straw burning practice by 2014 for mechanized areas. This study indicates that remote sensing images have efficiently evaluated important characteristics of the sugarcane cultivation dynamic providing quantitative results that are relevant to the debate of sustainable ethanol production from sugarcane in Brazil.
Keywords: cropland; cultivated area; type of harvest; land use change
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Rudorff, B.F.T.; Aguiar, D.A.; Silva, W.F.; Sugawara, L.M.; Adami, M.; Moreira, M.A. Studies on the Rapid Expansion of Sugarcane for Ethanol Production in São Paulo State (Brazil) Using Landsat Data. Remote Sens. 2010, 2, 1057-1076.
Rudorff BFT, Aguiar DA, Silva WF, Sugawara LM, Adami M, Moreira MA. Studies on the Rapid Expansion of Sugarcane for Ethanol Production in São Paulo State (Brazil) Using Landsat Data. Remote Sensing. 2010; 2(4):1057-1076.
Rudorff, Bernardo Friedrich Theodor; Aguiar, Daniel Alves; Silva, Wagner Fernando; Sugawara, Luciana Miura; Adami, Marcos; Moreira, Mauricio Alves. 2010. "Studies on the Rapid Expansion of Sugarcane for Ethanol Production in São Paulo State (Brazil) Using Landsat Data." Remote Sens. 2, no. 4: 1057-1076.