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Energies 2015, 8(11), 13033-13046; doi:10.3390/en81112353

An Assessment of Direct on-Farm Energy Use for High Value Grain Crops Grown under Different Farming Practices in Australia

Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Filippo Sgroi
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 10 November 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [757 KB, uploaded 17 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

Several studies have quantified the energy consumption associated with crop production in various countries. However, these studies have not compared the energy consumption from a broad range of farming practices currently in practice, such as zero tillage, conventional tillage and irrigated farming systems. This study examines direct on-farm energy use for high value grain crops grown under different farming practices in Australia. Grain farming processes are identified and “typical” farming operation data are collected from several sources, including published and unpublished literature, as well as expert interviews. The direct on-farm energy uses are assessed for 27 scenarios, including three high value grain crops―wheat, barley and sorghum―for three regions (Northern, Southern and Western Australia) under three farming conditions with both dryland (both for conventional and zero-tillage) and irrigated conditions. It is found that energy requirement for farming operations is directly related to the intensity and frequency of farming operations, which in turn is related to tillage practices, soil types, irrigation systems, local climate, and crop types. Among the three studied regions, Western Australia requires less direct on-farm energy for each crop, mainly due to the easily workable sandy soils and adoption of zero tillage systems. In irrigated crops, irrigation energy remains a major contributor to the total on-farm energy demand, accounting for up to 85% of total energy use. View Full-Text
Keywords: grain industry; on-farm energy; irrigation energy; zero tillage; conventional tillage grain industry; on-farm energy; irrigation energy; zero tillage; conventional tillage
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Maraseni, T.; Chen, G.; Banhazi, T.; Bundschuh, J.; Yusaf, T. An Assessment of Direct on-Farm Energy Use for High Value Grain Crops Grown under Different Farming Practices in Australia. Energies 2015, 8, 13033-13046.

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