Opportunities for reducing on-farm energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in sugarcane

Baillie, Craig and Chen, Guangnan (2012) Opportunities for reducing on-farm energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in sugarcane. International Sugar Journal, 114 (1366). pp. 725-730. ISSN 0020-8841

Abstract

Agricultural producers are currently aware of increasing energy costs associated with diesel and electricity. This has occurred at a time where the scientific and political debate on climate change is ongoing and there is conjecture on the best policy instruments to be used in response. In parallel to this discussion, the on-farm assessment of direct energy inputs (i.e. diesel and electricity) enables farmers to react positively to the potential of rising energy costs while contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gasses (GHGs) regardless of the scientific and policy debate surrounding climate change and emissions reduction. Work undertaken by the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA) studied direct on-farm energy use across a number of industries and crops including sugarcane to understand the range, costs and contributions of energy use to crop production and greenhouse gas emissions. The results from this work showed that energy use varies depending on the cropping enterprise and the farming system and that there are significant opportunities to reduce energy, costs and GHG emissions (i.e. economic and environmental benefits). For sugarcane, this work has identified significant savings in energy and GHGs for both a refinement in practices (e.g. up to 30% for irrigation) and a change in practice (e.g. up to 20% in plant cane through minimum tillage) through energy assessments. This work identified that potential savings in average energy costs of $30 to $100/ha is practically achievable. It is evident that there is substantial scope to improve energy use efficiency in sugarcane production systems.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2013 12:35
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2014 04:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: energy use; greenhouse gas emissions; sugarcane
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140201 Agricultural Economics
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960609 Sustainability Indicators
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/23168

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