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Environmental aspects
2014, Pages: 1159-1162

Energy use in organic farming

LAURENCE SMITH, ADRIAN WILLIAMS, BRUCE PEARCE

Department of Economics, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar 608 002, Tamil Nadu.

Abstract

Within this review, the extent to which organic farming can offer a more energy efficient mode of production was investigated through a comparison of 50 studies. The results illustrate that for nearly all crop and livestock types, organic systems use less fossil - fuel energy on a unit of land area basis, although results are more variable per unit of product. In man y cases the difference can be attributed to the high energy requirements for the manufacture of nitrogen fertiliser used in conventional systems. Lower yields and higher energy requirements for weed control can make some organic cropping systems perform w orse. Higher feed conversion ratios and mortality rates also make some organic livestock systems less efficient per kilogram of meat produced. Overall the review has found that organic farming systems have the potential to contribute towards a more energy efficient agriculture, although this will be at the expense of a lower yield.

Keywords: energy, organic, biodynamic , fossil - fuel.


 
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