Chen, Guangnan and Baillie, Craig Peter and Kupke, Paul (2009) Evaluating on-farm energy performance in agriculture. Australian Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Engineering, 7 (1). pp. 55-62. ISSN 1448-8388
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On-farm energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important in the context of rising energy costs and concerns over greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Energy audits are a crucial part of the overall energy and environmental management process. In this paper, the results of six on-farm energy audits are presented. It is shown that energy uses for these farms varied significantly, ranging from 1.29 GJ/ha for dryland sorghum production to 43.06 GJ/ha for avocado production. In some cases, nearly 80% of operational energy was expended on water harvesting and irrigation. The research shows that there is currently a strong need to develop standardised energy assessments and reporting protocols so that effective and widespread energy audits in agriculture can take place. It is further suggested that an energy audit in agriculture in the future may best start from irrigation, as it also consumes a considerable proportion of on-farm energy cost.
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