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Comparison of energy consumption of wheat production in conservation and conventional agriculture using DEA

Abstract

Energy is one of the essential resources for human life and mainly classified as non-renewable resources. Since huge amounts of energy are consumed in the agriculture sector, an energy audit is an essential strategy in countries. Conservation agriculture as a tool for sustainable development can lead to saving agricultural resources. In the current investigation, energy audit for wheat conservation and conventional production systems was performed. For this purpose, 48 farms were selected randomly in 2016, and their energy performance was evaluated and compared. The data were analyzed to calculate energy parameters. Also, data envelopment analysis technique was used to identify the possible ways to achieve higher efficiency in farms. To this end, current and optimum situations and saving energy in different cultivation systems were determined using Charnes, Cooper, and Rhodes (CCR) model. The research results showed that the average energy ratio, net energy gain, specific energy, and energy productivity for conservation farms were 4.31, 137,656 MJ ha−1, 5.56 MJ kg−1, and 0.18 kg MJ−1, respectively. Corresponded values for conventional farms were measured to be 3.03, 90,101 MJ ha−1, 7.69 MJ kg−1, and 0.13 kg MJ−1, respectively. Data envelopment analysis results revealed that the highest saving energy in conventional system belongs to diesel fuel and irrigation inputs, and the least amount of energy saving was seen in human labor input. While for the conservation system, the highest and the least amount of energy saving belongs to nitrogen and human labor, respectively.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Research Affairs Office of Shiraz University (Grant No. 94GRD1M215809) and funding of CNPq-TWAS Postgraduate Fellowship (Amin Mousavi Khaneghah) (Grant No. 3240274290).

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Correspondence to Mehdi Moradi or Amin Mousavi Khaneghah.

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Moradi, M., Nematollahi, M.A., Mousavi Khaneghah, A. et al. Comparison of energy consumption of wheat production in conservation and conventional agriculture using DEA. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 35200–35209 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-3424-x

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Keywords

  • Energy audit
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Conservation planting
  • Farm energy efficiency
  • Benchmarking
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • No tillage
  • Wheat