An assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from the Australian vegetables industry

Maraseni, Tek N. and Cockfield, Geoff and Maroulis, Jerry and Chen, Guangnan (2010) An assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from the Australian vegetables industry. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part B: Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes, 45 (6). pp. 578-588. ISSN 0360-1234


Recently, partly due to the increasing carbon consciousness in the electorates and partly due to the imminent introduction of the Australian Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), estimating carbon footprints is becoming increasingly necessary in agriculture. By taking data from several sources, this study estimates the national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a variety of farm inputs, for the 23 key vegetables crops grown in Australia. For the 121,122 ha of land occupied by vegetable farms,there are 1.1 MtCO2e GHG emissions or 9.2 tCO2e ha−1. In total, 65 % of total GHG emissions from the vegetable industry are due to electricity use for irrigation and post-harvest on-farm activities, 17 % from soil N2O emissions due to N fertiliser use, 10 % from agrochemicals, 7 % through fossils fuels and 1 % from on-farm machinery. The top four vegetables (by area), potatoes, lettuce,tomatoes and broccoli account for 29.1 %, 7.9 %, 5.9 % and 7.2 % of total GHG emissions from vegetables, respectively. However, the ratio of GHG emissions between the highest and lowest-emitting crops per hectare and per tonne, are different. Therefore, care must be exercised in carbon footprint labelling vegetable products to ensure that the labels reflect carbon emissions on a per tonnage basis.

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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: 18 Aug 2010 05:42
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2013 04:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: vegetable industry; carbon pollution reduction scheme; greenhouse gas emissions; agrochemicals; electricity;
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070304 Crop and Pasture Biomass and Bioproducts
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0706 Horticultural Production > 070699 Horticultural Production not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/03601234.2010.493497

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