Effect of tillage systems on energy input and energy efficiency for sugar beet and soybean under Pannonian climate conditions

https://doi.org/10.17221/615/2020-PSECitation:

Moitzi G., Neugschwandtner R.W., Kaul H.-P., Wagentristl H. (2021): Effect of tillage systems on energy input and energy efficiency for sugar beet and soybean under Pannonian climate conditions. Plant Soil Environ., 67: 137–146.

 

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Sustainable cropping systems require efficient usage of fossil energy. This study performed on a long-term field experiment in the Pannonian Basis investigated the energy efficiency of four tillage systems (mouldboard plough (MP), deep conservation tillage (CTd), shallow conservation tillage (CTs) and no-tillage (NT)) for sugar beet and soybean production, taking fuel consumption, total energy input (made up of both direct and indirect inputs), crop yield, energy output, net-energy output, energy intensity and energy use efficiency into account. The input rates of fertiliser, chemical plant protection, and seeds were set constant across years; whereas measured values of fuel consumption were used for all tillage treatments. NT required a considerably lower energy input than MP and CTd as no fuel is needed for tillage and just slightly more fuel for additional spraying of glyphosate. Anyhow, the energy efficiency parameters did not differ between tillage treatments, as theses parameters were mainly determined by energy output, which was considerably higher than the energy input. However, year effects on the energy efficiency were observed for both crops. Nitrogen fertilisation and diesel fuel consumption were identified as the most energy-intensive inputs. Consequently, the energy input for sugar beet was higher than that for soybean, which was identified as a low-input crop. But sugar beet attained a more than 4 times higher net-energy output, a 2.5 times higher energy use efficiency, and an energy intensity for yield production of less than 3 times those of soybean.

 

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