As agricultural mechanization accelerates the development of agriculture in China, to control the growth of the resulting energy consumption of mechanized agriculture without negatively affecting economic development has become a major challenge. A systematic analysis of the factors (total power, unit diesel consumption, etc.
) influencing diesel consumption using the SECA model, combined with simulations on agricultural diesel flows in China between 1996 and 2010 is performed in this work. Seven agricultural subsectors, fifteen categories of agricultural machinery and five farm operations are considered. The results show that farming and transportation are the two largest diesel consumers, accounting for 86.23% of the total diesel consumption in agriculture in 2010. Technological progress has led to a decrease in the unit diesel consumption and an increase in the unit productivity of all machinery, and there is still much potential for future progress. Additionally, the annual average working hours have decreased rapidly for most agricultural machinery, thereby influencing the development of mechanized agriculture.