Tillage and crop residue effects on the energy consumption, input–output costs and greenhouse gas emissions of maize crops

Abstract

Improving energy use efficiency (EUE) is critical for increasing farmers’ incomes, developing sustainable agriculture, and mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, data on EUE, net income, and GHG emissions across various tillage and crop residue (straw) treatments remains scarce. This study aimed to estimate these variables across different tillage and straw treatments used in summer maize production in a winter wheat-summer maize cropping system in China’s Loess Plateau. Tillage treatments included chisel plowing, no tillage, and moldboard plowing. These were studied both with straw returned to the soil, or removed. All activities and production processes were recorded. The results demonstrate that fertilizer especially nitrogen fertilizer, and to a lesser extent, the fuel used for tillage, sowing and harvesting, were the two major consumers of energy and producers of GHG emissions. These results indicated that the use of chisel plow or conducting no tillage with straw returned to the soil, can reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions, and improve the economic benefits of summer maize production in the region, compared with conventional moldboard plow tillage without straw (which is typically burned off). The results show that further improvements could be facilitated by improving the utilization of nitrogen fertilizer, returning straw to the soil, and reducing tillage. These practices can reduce GHG reductions, and improve EUE and farmers’ incomes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Afzalinia S, Zabihi J (2014) Soil compaction variation during corn growing season under conservation tillage. Soil Tillage Res 137:1–6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Barut ZB, Ertekin C, Karaagac HA (2011) Tillage effects on energy use for corn silage in Mediterranean Coastal of Turkey. Energy 36:5466–5475

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bonari E, Mazzoncini M, Peruzzi A (1995) Effects of conventional and minimum tillage on winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) in a sandy soil. Soil Tillage Res 33:91–108

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Canakci M, Topakci M, Akinci I, Ozmerzi A (2005) Energy use pattern of some field crops and vegetable production: case study for Antalya Region, Turkey. Energy Convers Manag 46:655–666

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Demircan V, Ekinci K, Keener HM, Akbolat D, Ekinci C (2006) Energy and economic analysis of sweet cherry production in Turkey: a case study from Isparta province. Energy Convers Manag 47:1761–1769

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Devasenapathy P, Senthilkumar G, Shanmugam P (2009) Energy management in crop production. Indian J Agron 54:80–89

    Google Scholar 

  7. Di Nasso NNO, Bosco S, Di Bene C, Coli A, Mazzoncini M, Bonari E (2011) Energy efficiency in long-term Mediterranean cropping systems with different management intensities. Energy 36:1924–1930

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Dyer JA, Desjardins RL (2003) Simulated farm fieldwork, energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Biosyst Eng 85(4):503–513

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Gao X, Gu FX, Hao WP, Mei XR, Li HR, Gong DZ, Mao LL, Zhang ZG (2017) Carbon budget of a rainfed spring maize cropland with straw returning on the Loess Plateau, China. Sci Total Environ 586:1193–1203

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Ghimire R, Norton U, Bista P, Obour AK, Norton JB (2017) Soil organic matter, greenhouse gases and net global warming potential of irrigated conventional, reduced-tillage and organic cropping systems. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 107(1):49–62

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Govaerts B, Fuentes M, Mezzalama M, Nicol JM, Deckers J, Etchevers JD, Figueroa-Sandoval B, Sayre KD (2007) Infiltration, soil moisture, root rot and nematode populations after 12 years of different tillage, residue and crop rotation managements. Soil Tillage Res 94:209–219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Gupta DK, Bhatia A, Kumar A, Das TK, Jain N, Tomer R, Malyan SK, Fagodiya RK, Dubey R, Pathak H (2016) Mitigation of greenhouse gas emission from rice-wheat system of the Indo-Gangetic plains: through tillage, irrigation and fertilizer management. Agric Ecosyst Environ 230:1–9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hamzei J, Seyyedi M (2016) Energy use and input–output costs for sunflower production in sole and intercropping with soybean under different tillage systems. Soil Tillage Res 157:73–82

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Hernanz JL, Giron VS, Cerisola C (1995) Long-term energy use and economic evaluation of three tillage systems for cereal and legume production in central Spain. Soil Tillage Res 35(4):183–198

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Hou P, Cui ZL, Bu LD, Yang HS, Zhang FS, Li SK (2014) Evaluation of a modified Hybrid-Maize model incorporating a newly developed module of plastic film mulching. Crop Sci 54(6):2796–2804

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Jat RK, Sapkota TB, Singh RG, Jat ML, Kumar M, Gupta RK (2014) Seven years of conservation agriculture in a rice-wheat rotation of Eastern Gangetic Plains of South Asia: yield trends and economic profitability. Field Crop Res 164:199–210

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Ji Q, Wang Y, Chen XN, Wang XD (2015) Tillage effects on soil aggregation, organic carbon fractions and grain yield in Eum-Orthic Anthrosol of a winter wheat-maize double-cropping system, Northwest China. Soil Use Manag 31(4):504–514

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Kazemi H, Bourkheili SH, Kamkar B, Soltani A, Gharanjic K, Nazari NM (2016) Estimation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and energy use efficiency (EUE) analysis in rainfed canola production (case study: Golestan province, Iran). Energy 116:694–700

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Keshavarz-Afshar R, Mohammed YA, Chen CC (2015) Energy balance and greenhouse gas emissions of dryland camelina as influenced by tillage and nitrogen. Energy 91:1057–1063

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Khakbazan M, Mohr R, Derksen D, Monreal M, Grant C, Zentner R, Moulin A, McLaren D, Irvine R, Nagy C (2009) Effects of alternative management practices on the economics, energy and GHG emissions of a wheat–pea cropping system in the Canadian prairies. Soil Tillage Res 104:30–38

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Khaliq A, Matloob A, Farooq M, Mushtaq MN, Khan MB (2011) Effect of crop residues applied isolated or in combination on the germination and seedling growth of horse purslane (Trianthema portulacastrum). Planta Daninha 29:121–128

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Khoshnevisan B, Rafiee S, Omid M, Yousefi M, Movahedi M (2013) Modeling of energy consumption and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in wheat production in Esfahan province of Iran using artificial neural networks. Energy 52:333–338

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Krishna VV, Veettil PC (2014) Productivity and efficiency impacts of conservation tillage in northwest Indo-Gangetic Plains. Agric Syst 127:126–138

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Kuesters J, Lammel J (1999) Investigations of the energy efficiency of the production of winter wheat and sugar beet in Europe. Eur J Agron 11:35–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Kumar V, Saharawat YS, Gathala MK, Jat AS, Singh SK, Chaudhary N, Jat M (2013) Effect of different tillage and seeding methods on energy use efficiency and productivity of wheat in the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Field Crop Res 142:1–8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Lal R (2004) Carbon emission from farm operations. Environ Int 30(7):981–990

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Lampurlanés J, Plaza-Bonilla D, Álvaro-Fuentes J, Cantero-Martínez C (2016) Long-term analysis of soil water conservation and crop yield under different tillage systems in Mediterranean rainfed conditions. Field Crop Res 189:59–67

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Li J, Li J, Ke Cheng, Han JC, Wang L, Shang JX (2016a) Soil organic carbon sequestration, yield and income increment of rotational tillage measures on Weibei highland maize field. Trans CSAE 32(5):104–111 (in Chinese)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Li S, Li YB, Li XS, Tian XH, Zhao AQ, Wang SJ, Wang XX, Shi JL (2016b) Effect of straw management on carbon sequestration and grain production in a maize–wheat cropping system in Anthrosol of the Guanzhong Plain. Soil Tillage Res 157:43–51

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Lobell DB, Cassman KG, Field CB (2009) Crop yield gaps: their importance, magnitudes, and causes. Annu Rev Environ Resour 34:179

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Lu XL, Lu XN, Tanveer SK, Wen XX, Liao YC (2016) Effects of tillage management on soil CO2 emission and wheat yield under rain-fed conditions. Soil Res 54(1):38–48

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Mu XY, Zhao YL, Liu K, Ji BY, Guo HB, Xue ZW, Li CH (2016) Responses of soil properties, root growth and crop yield to tillage and crop residue management in a wheat–maize cropping system on the North China Plain. Eur J Agron 78:32–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Omid M, Ghojabeige F, Delshad M, Ahmadi H (2011) Energy use pattern and benchmarking of selected greenhouses in Iran using data envelopment analysis. Energy Convers Manag 52:153–162

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Ozkan B, Akcaoz H, Fert C (2004) Energy input–output analysis in Turkish agriculture. Renew Energy 29:39–51

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Pathak H, Wassmann R (2007) Introducing greenhouse gas mitigation as a development objective in rice-based agriculture: I. Generation of technical coefficients. Agric Syst 94:807–825

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Pimentel D (1980) Energy inputs for the production, formulation, packaging, and transport of various pesticides, handbook of energy utilization in agriculture. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 35–42

    Google Scholar 

  37. Pimentel D, Herdendorf M, Eisenfeld S, Olander L, Carroquino M, Corson C, McDade J, Chung Y, Cannon W, Roberts J (1994) Achieving a secure energy future: environmental and economic issues. Ecol Econ 9:201–219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Pishgar-Komleh S, Ghahderijani M, Sefeedpari P (2012a) Energy consumption and CO2 emissions analysis of potato production based on different farm size levels in Iran. J Clean Prod 33:183–191

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Pishgar-Komleh SH, Keyhani A, Mostofi-Sarkari MR, Jafari A (2012b) Energy and economic analysis of different seed corn harvesting systems in Iran. Energy 43(1):469–476

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Pratibha G, Srinivas I, Rao KV, Raju BMK, Thyagaraj CR, Korwar GR, Venkateswarlu B, Shanker AK, Choudhary DK, Rao KS, Srinivasarao C (2015) Impact of conservation agriculture practices on energy use efficiency and global warming potential in rainfed pigeonpea-castor systems. Eur J Agron 66:30–40

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Rathke GW, Diepenbrock W (2006) Energy balance of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) cropping as related to nitrogen supply and preceding crop. Eur J Agron 24:35–44

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Rusinamhodzi L, Corbeels M, van Wijk MT, Rufino MC, Nyamangara J, Giller KE (2011) A meta-analysis of long-term effects of conservation agriculture on maize grain yield under rain-fed conditions. Agron Sustain Dev 31(4):657

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Saharawat Y, Singh B, Malik R, Ladha JK, Gathala M, Jat M, Kumar V (2010) Evaluation of alternative tillage and crop establishment methods in a rice–wheat rotation in North Western IGP. Field Crop Res 116:260–267

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Sarauskis E, Buragiene S, Masilionyte L, Romaneckas K, Avizienyte D, Sakalauskas A (2014) Energy balance, costs and CO2 analysis of tillage technologies in maize cultivation. Energy 69:227–235

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Seddaiu G, Iocola I, Farina R, Orsini R, Iezzi G, Roggero PP (2016) Long term effects of tillage practices and N fertilization in rainfed Mediterranean cropping systems: durum wheat, sunflower and maize grain yield. Eur J Agron 77:166–178

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Shao YH, Xie YX, Wang CY, Yue JQ, Yao YQ, Li XD, Liu WX, Zhu YJ, Guo TC (2016) Effects of different soil conservation tillage approaches on soil nutrients, water use and wheat-maize yield in rainfed dry-land regions of North China. Eur J Agron 81:37–45

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Sharma P, Abrolb V, Sharma PK (2011) Impact of tillage and mulch management on economics, energy requirement and crop performance in maize–wheat rotation in rainfed subhumid inceptisols, India. Eur J Agron 34:46–51

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Singh J (2002) On farm energy use pattern in different cropping systems in Haryana, India. Master of Science, International Institute of Management University of Flensburg. Germany, pp 50–58

  49. Singh RJ, Ghosh BN, Sharma NK, Patra S, Dadhwal KS, Mishra PK (2016) Energy budgeting and emergy synthesis of rainfed maize–wheat rotation system with different soil amendment applications. Ecol Indic 61:753–765

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Tabatabaeefar A, Emamzadeh H, Varnamkhasti MG, Rahimizadeh R, Karimi M (2009) Comparison of energy of tillage systems in wheat production. Energy 34:41–45

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Tahir MA, Sardar MS, Quddus MA, Ashfaq M (2008) Economics of zero tillage technology of wheat in rice-wheat cropping system of punjab-pakistan. J Anim Plant Sci 18(1):42–46

    Google Scholar 

  52. Tanveer SK, Wen X, Lu XL, Lu XL, Zhang JL, Liao YC (2013) Tillage, mulch and N fertilizer affect emissions of CO2 under the rain fed condition. PLoS ONE 8(9):e72140

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  53. Tipi T, Çetin B, Vardar A (2009) An analysis of energy use and input costs for wheat production in Turkey. J Agric Environ 7:352–356

    Google Scholar 

  54. Tong C, Hall CAS, Wang H (2003) Land use change in rice, wheat and maize production in China (1961–1998). Agric Ecosyst Environ 95(2):523–536

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Tzilivakis J, Warner D, May M, Lewis K, Jaggard K (2005) An assessment of the energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) production in the UK. Agric Syst 85:101–119

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. van Kessel C, Venterea R, Six J, Adviento-Borbe MA, Linquist B, van Groenigen KJ (2013) Climate, duration, and N placement determine N2O emissions in reduced tillage systems: a meta-analysis. Glob Change Biol 19(1):33–44

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Wang XB, Wang Y, Dai K, Wu XP, Zhao QS, Zhang DC, Feng ZH, Cai DX (2011) Coupled energy and carbon balance analysis under dryland tillage systems. Acta Ecol Sin 31(16):4638–4652 (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  58. Wang XB, Zhou BY, Sun XF, Yue Y, Ma W, Zhao M (2015) Soil tillage management affects maize grain yield by regulating spatial distribution coordination of roots, soil moisture and nitrogen status. PLoS ONE 10(6):e0129231

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  59. Xu J, He ZK, Feng QQ, Zhang YY, Li XS, Xu JJ, Lin X, Han HF, Ning TY, Li ZJ (2017) Effect of tillage method on photosynthetic characteristics and annual yield formation of winter wheat–summer maize cropping system. J Plant Nutr Fertil 23(1):101–109 (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  60. Yeboah S, Zhang RZ, Cai LQ, Song M, Li LL, Xie JH, Luo ZZ, Wu J, Zhang J (2016) Greenhouse gas emissions in a spring wheat-field pea sequence under different tillage practices in semi-arid Northwest China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 106(1):77–91

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Yilmaz I, Akcaoz H, Ozkan B (2005) An analysis of energy use and input costs for cotton production in Turkey. Renew Energy 30(2):145–155

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Zhang M, Chen F, Zhang H (2011) Effects of tillage treatments on energy-use efficiency of winter wheat and summer corn cropping systems in north China. In: Remote sensing, environment and transportation engineering (RSETE). International Conference on: IEEE, pp 7549–7552

  63. Zhang J, Liu Y, Li X, Liang X, Zhou L, Zhou S (2013) Dynamic responses of nitrogen accumulation and remobilization in summer maize organs to nitrogen fertilizer. Acta Agron Sin 39:506–514 (in Chinese)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Zhang Z, Guo L, Liu T, Li C, Cao C (2015) Effects of tillage practices and straw returning methods on greenhouse gas emissions and net ecosystem economic budget in rice–wheat cropping systems in central China. Atmos Environ 122:636–644

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xingli Lu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lu, X., Lu, X. Tillage and crop residue effects on the energy consumption, input–output costs and greenhouse gas emissions of maize crops. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 108, 323–337 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-017-9859-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Conservation tillage
  • Energy use efficiency
  • Summer maize
  • Net income