Energy use of organic and conventional agriculture

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A  model for fossil energy use in Danish agriculture used to compare organic and conventional farming

A model for fossil energy use in Danish agriculture used to compare organic and conventional farming

Several authors have compared EU for organic and conventional crop production. For instance, Pi- mentel et al. (1983) found an EU, respectively, 10.0 and 7.2 GJ ha − 1 , for conventionally and organically grown spring wheat in North Dakota. For Danish conditions, Vester (1995) calculated the EU of spring barley on organic model farms (6.9–13.0 GJ ha − 1 ) and on conventional farms (15.4–21.2 GJ ha − 1 ). Also in Denmark, Refsgaard et al. (1998) found EU val- ues for organically and conventionally crop produc- tion (Fig. 4). Leach (1976) calculated typical EUs in the UK and found an EU of 15.7 GJ ha − 1 for spring barley, 26.4 GJ ha − 1 for the row crop maize, and 15.6–18.9 GJ ha − 1 for wheat. Finally, Mörschner and Bärbel (1999) have estimated a total EU of 16.8 GJ ha − 1 for growing conventional winter wheat in Germany, compared to Tsatsarelis (1993) estima- tion of 16.1–26.1 GJ ha − 1 for conventional soft winter wheat production in Greece. All these values are within the range of this study’s results (Fig. 1), and indicates that the present model could be used in these and similar geographical areas. Fig. 1 showed some relations between EU and average observed yields (Halberg and Kristensen, 1997), depending on crop type, farming system and soil type. In the conven- tional system, grass/clover (silage) had the highest EU compared to the yield. This was mainly because of the high use of synthetic fertiliser, but also because of a high EU for harvesting and handling of the silage (e.g. pastured grass/clover has a lower EU). In the organic system, fodder beets had the highest EU compared to yield. This was also because of a large EU for harvest- ing and handling, and the highest EU for spreading and handling of manure. Generally, the grain cere- als (including straw) had a lower EU per area than the roughage crops, but because of higher roughage crop yields, it was the opposite to EU per feed unit. This was because of the lower EU for harvesting and handling of the grains, which per feed unit weigh less than roughage. The only exception to this was organically grown grass/clover (pasture), where pas- turing on the field saved fuel both for harvesting and fertilising.
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Energy use and Green house gas emission in organic agriculture

Energy use and Green house gas emission in organic agriculture

From a consumer perspective, an efficient way of reducing the GHG emissions (carbon footprint) from food consumption is to replace the intake of meat and dairy products with plant protein and food energy not coming from glass house production. Given that many consumers wish to consume some amount of animal products, many results indicate that organic is a good choice. As regards plant products, organically grown vegetables with a relatively high energy input compared to yields (heated glasshouses or field grown vegetables using many field operations and manure input) risk having a larger GHG emission per kg compared with conventional. However, the carbon footprint per kg of field grown vegetables and cereals is low compared with livestock and glass house products and organic cereals will often leave a lower carbon footprint compared with conventional. Therefore, with the right combination of protein and energy sources and by limiting air fright it is possible to compose an organic diet with relatively low carbon footprint. If the organic sector decides to engage seriously in a development towards energy self reliance and crop rotations with carbon sequestration without increasing the N 2 O emissions the choice of organic products may in time
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Nitrogen and Energy Utilization on Conventional and Organic Dairy Farms in Norway

Nitrogen and Energy Utilization on Conventional and Organic Dairy Farms in Norway

energy in agriculture can reduce the use of fossil energy in other sectors. Analysing the use of nitrogen and energy is an essential part of a life cycle assessment (LCA). In recent decades, many LCAs have been conducted for dairy farming in Europe (e.g. Yan et al., 2011). These studies are important for understanding the impact of dairy farming on the environment. Different indicators are used to describe environmental and economic performance, using different models (Calker et al., 2008; Halberg et al., 2005a, 2005b; Lien et al., 2007; Meyer- Aurich, 2005; Pelletier et al., 2008; Pimentel et al., 2005; Pretty et al., 2005; Roedenbeck, 2004; Werf and Petit, 2002). The models have different focuses (farm optimisation, marketing or administration), and due to their varying complexity the demand for input data differs. Models can help to improve the sustainability of farms by reducing nutrient surpluses (Granstedt, 2000). This is particularly efficient when a nutrient accounting system is used in combination with fertilisation schemes and improvements by specific on farm advice (Halberg et al., 2005b). For the farmer it is important that the farm is understood as a system, also taking farm economy into consideration when improving environmental performance. Otherwise, it is possible that an improvement in one area can move problems to another area (Kohn et al., 1997). Such models have been developed in many countries, but no such model linking sustainability assessment and management advice exists in Norway for dairy farming. Dairy farming in Norway is under an ongoing structural change, with the number of dairy farms having been reduced from 2002 to 2012 by 45 % to 10,335 farms. At the same time, the number of organic dairy farms increased by 26 % to 344 farms. The number of dairy cows on all dairy farms in Norway increased by 50 % to 23, while the number of dairy cows per organic dairy farm was nearly doubled to 26. The overall average milk yield per cow in Norway increased from 6,190 kg per year in 2002 to 7,303 kg in 2012 2 , whereas yields on organic farms increased by 26 % from 5,240 kg to 6,600 kg in the same period. The increasing size of organic farms can be partially explained by the tendency of farms with small cultivated area and herd size to give up certified organic farming, while mainly larger farms converted to organic farming (Koesling et al., 2008). Flaten and Lien (Flaten and Lien, 2009; Flaten, 2002) conclude that farm expansions lead to more expensive buildings. In the project
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Organic vs conventional agriculture article.doc

Organic vs conventional agriculture article.doc

The difference between the two is the source of the chemicals. To make the high-volume commercial versions of both organic and synthetic fertilizer, the source materials are processed in factories and reduced to just the desired chemicals, and the end product, these days, is virtually indistinguishable. Small organic farmers, and home organic farmers, might use fish meal, bone meal, bat guano, or earthworm castings. These are fine products and do indeed deliver the required nutrients. They're just not useful for high volume farming because they're (a) far too expensive, and (b) contain too much ballast, or inactive ingredient, that the crops don't use and merely increase the energy requirements of moving and delivering them.
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Renewable Energy Application for Organic Agriculture: A Review

Renewable Energy Application for Organic Agriculture: A Review

Agriculture is the sole provider of human food. Organic agriculture is one sustainable alternative to avoid the negative environmental effects often caused by conventional agriculture. Most farm machines are driven by fossil fuels, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and, in turn, accelerate climate change. Such environmental damage can be mitigated by the promotion of renewable resources such as solar, wind, biomass, tidal, geo-thermal, small-scale hydro, biofuels and wave-generated power. These renewable resources have a huge potential for the agriculture industry. The farmers should be encouraged by subsidies to use renewable energy technology. Hence, there is a need for promoting use of renewable energy systems for organic agriculture, e.g. solar photovoltaic water pumps and electricity, greenhouse technologies, solar dryers for post-harvest processing, and solar hot water heaters. Clean development provides industrialized countries with an incentive to invest in emission reduction projects in developing countries to achieve a reduction in CO 2 emissions at the lowest cost. The
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Organic Agriculture Worldwide: Key results from the FiBL IFOAM survey on organic agriculture worldwide 2013  Slide collection

Organic Agriculture Worldwide: Key results from the FiBL IFOAM survey on organic agriculture worldwide 2013 Slide collection

relative importance is decreasing. Europe, a region that has had a very constant growth of organic land over the years, has more than one quarter of the world’s organic agricultural land. The share of Latin America is slightly lower than that of Europe (18 percent).

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Four New Strategies to Grow the Organic Agriculture Sector

Four New Strategies to Grow the Organic Agriculture Sector

At the 2013 Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, Bhutan's Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Pema Gyamtsho, confirmed the aspirations for his country to be the world's first country to go 100% organic. Gyamtsho stated that: "Ours is a mountainous terrain. When we use chemicals they don't stay where we use them, they impact the water and plants. We say that we need to consider all the environment. Most of our farm practices are traditional farming, so we are largely organic anyway”. He added that "we are Buddhists, too, and we believe in living in harmony with nature. Animals have the right to live, we like to to see plants happy and insects happy” (Paull, 2013a).
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Organic Agriculture and HIV/AIDS   the Nutritional Response

Organic Agriculture and HIV/AIDS the Nutritional Response

In terms of producing nutritious foodstuffs, organic agriculture is the singular farming approach which places heath as an overriding objective. The health of human beings, animals and plants are seen as inseparable from the health and fertility of the soil, and health itself is not simply an absence of disease, but a state of resilient vitality. This conceptual base remains a challenge to demonstrate and prove under current scientific paradigms and methodologies. Nevertheless, there is growing evidence of the superior impact of organic food and farming over conventional, industrial production for strengthening the immune system and combating opportunistic infections. These impacts include the provision of a more nutritionally diverse diet (Johns et al, 2006), the avoidance of long-term micronutrient loss from the soil and crops (Davis et al, 2005), specific nutrient increases in organic foods including phytonutrients (Brand & Mølgaard, 2006), the absence of ingested pesticide residues (Winter & Davis, 2006), lower levels of fungal toxicity (Benbrook, 2005), lower levels of drinking water contamination, and absence of antibiotics and of food additives (Heaton, 2001). Holistic feeding studies, largely carried out on animals, indicate a positive effect of an organic diet on recovery from illness and infection and on the immune system in general (Worthington, 2001). As well as its nutritional benefits, the practice of organic agriculture is appropriate for the conditions of PLWA in that it encourages localised food production systems, minimises postharvest losses, optimises yield increases, regenerates the natural resource base, encourages the use of cheap or free local resources to substitute for purchased inputs and foods, and taps into the traditional knowledge base.
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The potential of organic farming in drylands of India

The potential of organic farming in drylands of India

To be sure, many farmers resist implementing organic systems because they fear a drop in productivity and thus income, during the years while synthetic fertilizer/pesticide use is discontinued and the soil is gradually built up by organic means. However, the longest transition periods occur where pesticide use has previously been greatest. And, because of the lack of a reliable water supply, average fertilizer use in the semi-arid, rainfed drylands--67% of India's agricultural area--is already very low (36.4 kg/ha) compared to the national average of 76.8 kg/ha. In the actual desert areas, fertilizer use is negligible (FAI 1998). Pesticide use is also very low. Furthermore, large parts of the drylands are still categorized as "virgin," meaning no synthetic inputs have been used there to date. This makes a quick shift to organic agriculture, with no drop in productivity, much easier.
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Comparison of Organic and Conventional Agriculture Production in Till and No-till Systems: Effects on Water Quality and Yield.

Comparison of Organic and Conventional Agriculture Production in Till and No-till Systems: Effects on Water Quality and Yield.

semiactive, mesic Typic Kanhapludult). Nine treatments were used that included no-till; in- row subsoiling; fall chisel plow; spring chisel plow; disk; fall chisel plow plus disk; spring chisel plow plus disk; fall moldboard plow plus disk and spring moldboard plow plus disk. The study was in randomized complete block design with a 6m alley between each block. There were 4 blocks containing each treatment with each plot measuring 15.5m x 5.5m. The site was pasture in 1982 and then converted to continuous corn in 1984. In 1989, the current corn-soybean rotation was put in place with fertility practices based upon North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recommendations. Bulk density samples were taken before spring tillage in 2010 to estimate soil loss. In June 2010, ground-based lidar data was collected from four locations in the experiment to estimate plot elevation. At this time emerging soybeans measured 2.5-5cm tall. Since original elevations were not known, the NT treatment elevation was used as a reference because this treatment is known to result in lower soil losses than the other treatments. Moreover, the authors also had to assume no soil was deposited in NT treatments. This assumption was deemed plausible due to the site characteristics and layout. Positive elevation change was noticed in plots in four of the nine treatments (in-row subsoiling, fall chisel plow, spring chisel plow, and disk). This was credited to weed growth or residue stubble in these treatments, due to less intense tillage practices, that resulted in lidar readings to be higher than the actual soil surface. The spring chisel plow plus disk and fall chisel plow plus disk treatments resulted in the second highest soil loss with an estimated total soil loss up of to 1500 Mg ha -1 . The ); fall moldboard plow plus disk and spring moldboard plow plus disk treatments resulted in the lowest relative elevation and greatest estimated soil loss which ranged up to 1891 Mg ha -1 . The authors state that soil loss estimations could be improved by having more consistent crop residue and weed cover. Moreover, they state that lidar scanning before the treatments were put in place would have added to the accuracy but this was not an option. The soil loss estimates found in this study closely resemble those reported in other studies, which lead the authors to
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West Kalimantan Integrated Border Area Development

West Kalimantan Integrated Border Area Development

Production – Organic vegetables are mainly grown in small landholdings by individual households or by farm groups. The farm groups either operate under a common organic project in a cooperative structure or as contract grower groups for processing and packaging companies or supermarkets. In the most basic household-level model, the farmer either transports his or her produce to the local market or sells it to a collector, who re-sells it to a wholesaler or distributor or in the local market. There is no value added to the process because organic produce is normally sold alongside conventional produce, without any differentiation between the two. Prices received by the farmer therefore tend to be low and in line with those of non-organic products. However, the profit margin for the farmer is higher than that of farmers who use the more-costly chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Organic farming is more labor intensive, but in West Kalimantan labor is inexpensive and relatively abundant. The only drawback is the willingness of farmers to invest more time and energy in farming practices.
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Energy use in organic farming systems (OF0182)

Energy use in organic farming systems (OF0182)

Transport energy is most likely to differ significantly between organic and conventional systems in vegetable production. This is because of the current relatively small scale of organic production and the need for regular supplies to retailers. Energy costs for transport from farm to retailer distribution centre were considered for a range of scenarios. Compared to large-scale conventional vegetable production, the modelling suggests that there is scope to reduce transport energy costs by around 40% by group transport to packers or by local sale. Importing from northern Europe to the English midlands added 44% to transport energy costs, and from southern Europe added 352% to costs. As none of these scenarios include transport from distribution centre to retail outlet, as would be expected, the local sale option had the lowest overall transport energy cost. As for the energy efficiency results, these are illustrative and the model can be used to compare specific combinations of load size, distance travelled and numbers of journeys.
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Review on the possible interactions of pests, diseases & weeds in cereals grown in organic and conventional agriculture

Review on the possible interactions of pests, diseases & weeds in cereals grown in organic and conventional agriculture

The principles of organic production have always included all aspects of the crop production chain, including seed. However, due to the difficulties of producing organic seed, both commercial and technical, growers have been able to purchase untreated conventionally produced seed for organic crop production, and save further seed generations from this for their own use if they wished. However, the EU derogation covering this terminates in December 2003, and from January 2004 all seed for organic ware production must itself be grown organically for at least one generation. For major cereal crops, i.e. wheat (including triticale), barley and oats, seed of the first certified generation (C1) must therefore be sown in approved organic land to produce second generation seed (C2) which is normally sold for ware production. For rye, the first generation will be basic seed, and the second is certified seed. Further generations of seed may be saved from C2 according to individual grower preference, and subject to the same rules governing royalty payments on farm-saved seed which apply to conventional growers. C1, C2 and any further generations cannot be treated with any of the standard chemicals used prophylactically on nearly all conventional seed, though organically approved products could be used.
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Atlas of Organics: Four maps of the world of organic agriculture

Atlas of Organics: Four maps of the world of organic agriculture

This paper presents four maps of the world of organic agriculture. Density equalising maps (cartograms) have previously been published of the world of organic agriculture based on the reported hectares of certified organically managed agriculture land. The four maps in the present atlas of organic agriculture are visual presentations of current global organics data: (a) certified organic agriculture hectares; (b) certified organic wildculture hectares; (c) total certified organic production hectares (organic agriculture plus wildculture plus forestry plus aquaculture); (d) certified organic producers. Australia dominates in the world map of the organic agriculture hectares, Europe is strongly represented, and Africa is weakly represented. Finland dominates in the world organics map of organic wildculture, Zambia is a strong representative from Africa, and India is a strong representative from Asia. Australia dominates in the map of the organics world map of total organic production hectares (the aggregation of agriculture, wildculture, forestry, and aquaculture), followed by Finland. India dominates in the world organics map of organics producers. The maps illustrate the broad global diffusion of the organics meme, visually highlight leaders and laggers, and indicate opportunities for growth and better reportage. These maps are generated by the Worldmapper GIS algorithm developed at the University of Sheffield as a cartographic visualisation tool.
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Tasmania's Organic Spring: The 99 8% Opportunity

Tasmania's Organic Spring: The 99 8% Opportunity

Tasmania has experienced seventy years of organics advocacy (from 1946). Yet Tasmania has just 0.2% of its agricultural land certified organic. Converting the state to organic could take 35,000 years at the current rate - and who has that kind of time? In contrast, Australia has 7.1% of its agricultural land as certified organic. Australia has more organic land than any other country. Tasmania has 4003 certified organic agriculture hectares and 79 certified organic operators (compared to the Australian total of 27.1 million organic agriculture hectares and 2075 certified organic operators). This suggests that there is a massive opportunity - the 99.8% opportunity - for Tasmania to embrace the ethics, practices, and economic benefits of organic production. With the impending certification of a number of organic dairy properties in Tasmania, is the state on the cusp of an Organic Spring? OMG (Organic Milk Group) has just achieved certification of its first dairy farm and has just started supplying Woolworths supermarkets with organic milk. Moon Lake has three dairy farms at or near conversion to organic and plans direct organic milk exports, Hobart to China. A new map of organic farms in Tasmania is presented.
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ICROFS news 1/2009   newsletter from ICROFS

ICROFS news 1/2009 newsletter from ICROFS

N ovel implements for intra-row flaming and mechanical weed control are commercialised (www. fp-engin.dk, www.garford. com). The demand to future technology is properties to control weeds in the near proximity of crop plants without reducing yield. In this study, 30 concepts for close to crop weed control were identified and eva- luated by various aspects. The most promising weed control concepts were so- called high precision tillage solutions and thermal weed control by pulsed lasers. Technology development with regard to organic principles

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Output und Public Expenditure Implications of the Development of Organic Farming in Europe

Output und Public Expenditure Implications of the Development of Organic Farming in Europe

The marginal importance of organic arable total UAA does not induce any substantial variation in total EAGGF budget due to different land use. The estimated reduction of 53.7 MECU does not balance the overall cost for organic farming support under EU Reg. 2078/92, which is estimated (for all crops) as 188.64 MECU (see Lampkin et al., 1999). On the other hand, an assessment of the actual cost of the organic farming scheme should take into account the fact that adoption of organic farming has induced savings in the ordinary CAP payments to organic farms, accounting for some 29% of the explicit costs of the organic farming support under EU Reg. 2078/92. Regarding expenditure variation for export refunds and storage, the lack of detailed information about specific highly supported crops or products, like sugar, olive oil, wine, and horticulture in general, does not allow a more insightful analysis of the consequences on expenditure of organic farming adoption, and the figure of expenditure variation presented in Table 5-24 refers only to direct payments impact.
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Towards mapping Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) research into use in Nigeria

Towards mapping Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) research into use in Nigeria

by economic growth in the service, industrial and natural resource sectors, which will expand demand and induce technical and land use changes, including both farm consolidation and farm fragmentation; (iv) addressing the chronic problems of food insecurity and malnutrition and their relation to the fiscal and management capacities of African states; (v) mitigating climate change, whose effects are projected to be especially adverse for Africa's agricultural potential; and (vi) developing public policies – investments and incentives – that reverse the historic discrimination against agriculture and stimulate it to reach its potential. In an attempt to overcome some if not all of the highlighted challenges, the African Heads of State unanimously took a decision (EX.CL/Dec. 621 (XVII) in 2011) to mainstream organic agriculture into the agricultural systems of all member states by the year 2020. This lead to the formation of a broad based initiative tagged “Ecological Organic Agriculture” in 2011. Since the pilot phase was carried out in 2012 in six African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Zambia, it has extended to a total of eight countries now: eight (8) countries - four in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) and four in West Africa (Mali, Nigeria, Benin and Senegal). The EOA Initiative is hinged on six key priority areas (pillars) and Research Training and Extension is the first pillar aimed at coordinating conduct of research projects that will address the needs of EOA practitioners in the continent with a view to improving Africa's smallholder farms and thereby boost food security. Therefore, an activity was conducted in 2016 with an overall objective to document EOA research into use in Nigeria.
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ENVIRONMENTAL APPLICATIONS   Soxhlet Extraction pdf

ENVIRONMENTAL APPLICATIONS Soxhlet Extraction pdf

Sampling of these compounds is similar to that described in the previous two sections and either the adsorbent used or the extraction solvent and post- extraction procedures applied are widely documented in the literature. Thus, the performance of different sorbents, such as Chromosorb 102, Porapak R, Supelpak-2, Amberlite XAD-2, Amberlite XAD-4, Carbonaceous Ambersorb XE-340 and polyurethane foam, has been evaluated with use of atmospheres containing known concentrations of OCPs. The most ef R cient trap for HCH and PCBs was found to be two cartridges containing PUFs-Tenax-GC sandwich traps, connected in series. Halogenated anisoles and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) have been sampled from air using a high volume sampling technique in which air was pumped through two layers of solid sorbent: the upper sorbent layer was a mixture of silica gel 60 / ENVI-Carb or ANGI-Sorb 5B / ANGI-Sorb 10B and the lower sorbent layer was silica gel 60 / ENVI- Carb or ANGI-Sorb 2.5B. These solid sorbents are Soxhlet extracted with organic solvents, mainly di- chloromethane (but also with others such as petrol- eum ether, ethyl ether, hexane, acetone and mixtures) and, after the appropriate clean up, the detection / determination step is developed mainly by GC-ECD.
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Determination of the Vitamin C Content of Conventionally and Organically Grown Fruits by Cyclic Voltammetry

Determination of the Vitamin C Content of Conventionally and Organically Grown Fruits by Cyclic Voltammetry

In this study the nutritional difference, as determined by vitamin C content, between six sets of conventionally and organically grown fruits were analyzed. There was no significant difference found in five of the six fruits considered. Only organic lemons displayed a significantly higher vitamin C level than their conventionally grown counterparts. Our results show that organically grown fruits are not nutritiously superior to conventionally grown fruits. The previously published literature is ambiguous as to whether or not organically grown fruits contain higher vitamin C content. It is more reasonable to assume that other external factors, such as storage and shipping conditions, may have a more considerable influence on the vitamin C content of fruits. Further research to assess the potential nutritional superiority of locally grown foods, over imported foods, is a natural progression of this research.
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