Sustainable Agriculture – Energy and Emergy Aspects of Agricultural Production

Anna Kuczuk, Janusz Pospolita
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIII, Issue 4, 1000-1018, 2020
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/1728


Purpose: The objective of the study was to perform the analysis of agricultural production in terms of its energy consumption and environmental impact. To determine this impact, the emergy calculus was utilized. Design/Methodology/Approach: The notion of cumulative energy intensity was applied in the analysis. The calculations were performed with regard to conventional and organic production systems. It was assessed which production inputs generate the highest energy consumption. In order to assess the degree of environmental impact of production, the emergy calculus was used. The ELR and EYR indicators were taken into account to measure the degree of environmental loading. Findings: The conducted analysis of cumulative energy consumption demonstrates that in the case of conventional systems, the ratio of machinery and equipment use as well as fertilizers and plant protection products use could account for over 70% of cumulative energy consumption. Energy intensity in similar ecological farming systems can be reduced two times. Practical Implications: The work indicates the course of the activity that can contribute to the decrease of the energy consumption in agricultural production and reduce the negative impact on the environment. Originality/value: The work contains the results of research on agricultural systems: conventional and ecological, in specific environmental and territorial conditions of Poland, conducted on the basis of the emergy account and cumulated energy consumption.

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