||Government policy is a major human factor that causes changes in land use. Decisions on land management and land-use planning, as well as the analysis and quantification of policy consequences, may greatly benefit from the simulation of the dynamics of land-use systems. In the present study, we predicted land-use changes and their potential impacts on food security in the environmentally fragile Guyuan District, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (north-central China), under the influence of a program to convert sloping agricultural land to conservation uses. Baseline and conservation policy scenarios (2005 to 2020) were developed based on input from local stakeholders and expert knowledge. For the baseline and conservation policies, we formulated high-, moderate-, and low-growth scenarios, analyzed the driving mechanisms responsible for the land-use dynamics, and then applied a previously developed “dynamics of land systems” model to simulate changes in land uses based on the driving mechanisms. We found that spatially explicit policies can promote the conversion of land to more sustainable uses; however, decreasing the amount of agricultural and urban land and increasing grassland and forest cover will increase the risk of grain shortages, and the effect will be more severe under the conservation and high- growth scenarios than under the baseline and low-growth scenarios. The Guyuan case study suggests that, during the next decade, important trade-offs between environmental conservation and food security will inevitably occur. Future land-use decisions should carefully consider the balance between land resource conservation, agricultural production, and urban expansion.