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Organic farming without fossil fuels - life cycle assessment of two Swedish cases

Sundberg, C.; Kimming, M.; Nordberg, Å.; Baky, A. and Hansson, P.-A. (2013) Organic farming without fossil fuels - life cycle assessment of two Swedish cases. In: Løes, Anne-Kristin; Askegaard, Margrethe; Langer, Vibeke; Partanen, Kirsi; Pehme, Sirli; Rasmussen, Ilse A.; Salomon, Eva; Sørensen, Peter; Ullvén, Karin and Wivstad, Maria (Eds.) Organic farming systems as a driver for change, NJF Report, no. 9 (3), pp. 103-104.

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Summary

Organic agriculture is dependent on fossil fuels, just like conventional agriculture, but this can be reduced by the use of on-farm biomass resources. The energy efficiency and environmental impacts of different alternatives can be assessed by life cycle assessment (LCA), which we have done in this project. Swedish organic milk production can become self-sufficient in energy by using renewable sources available on the farm, with biogas from manure as the main energy source. Thereby greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production system can be reduced, both by substituting fossil fuels and by reducing methane emissions from manure. The arable organic farm studied in the project could be self-sufficient in energy by using the residues available in the crop rotation. Because of soil carbon losses, the greenhouse gas emission savings were lower with the use of straw ethanol, heat and power (9%) than by using ley for biogas production (35%).
In this research project, the system boundaries were set at energy self-sufficiency at farm or farm-cluster level. Heat and fuel were supplied as needed, and electricity production was equal to use on an annual basis. In practice, however, better resource efficiency can be achieved by making full use of available energy infrastructure, and basing production on resource availability and economic constraints, rather than a narrow self-sufficiency approach.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Agrovoc keywords:
LanguageValueURI
EnglishOrganic agriculturehttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_15911
EnglishFuelshttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_3136
EnglishLife cycle analysishttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_9000105
EnglishSelf sufficiencyhttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_6957
EnglishEnergy for agriculturehttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_9000046
EnglishCase studieshttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_24392
Subjects: Food systems > Recycling, balancing and resource management
Environmental aspects
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2013: NJF Seminar 461 - Organic farming systems as a driver for change
ISSN:1653-2015
Deposited By: Sørensen, Peter
ID Code:24559
Deposited On:06 Nov 2013 21:52
Last Modified:06 Nov 2013 21:52
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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