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Biomass energy in organic farming - the potential role of short rotattion coppice

Jørgensen, Uffe; Dalgaard, Tommy and Kristensen, Erik Steen (2005) Biomass energy in organic farming - the potential role of short rotattion coppice. Biomass & Bioenergy, 28 (2), pp. 237-248.

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Summary

One of the aims of organic farming is to “reduce the use of non-renewable resources (e.g. fossil fuels) to a minimum”. So far, however, only very little progress has been made to introduce renewable energy in organic farming. This paper presents energy balances of Danish organic farming compared with energy balances of conventional farming. In general, the conversion to organic farming leads to a lower energy use (approximately 10% per unit of product). But the production of energy in organic farming is very low compared with the extensive utilisation of straw from conventional farming in Denmark (energy content of straw used for energy production was equivalent to 18% of total energy input in Danish agriculture in 1996).
Biomass is a key energy carrier with a good potential for on-farm development. Apart from utilising farm manure and crop residues for biogas production, the production of nutrient efficient short rotation coppice (SRC) is an option in organic farming. Alder (Alnus spp.) is an interesting crop due to its symbiosis with the actinomycete Frankia, which has the ability to fix up to 185 kg/ha nitrogen (N2) from the air. Yields obtained at different European sites are presented and the R&D needed to implement energy cropping in organic farming is discussed.
Possible win–win solutions for SRC production in organic farming that may facilitate its implementation are; the protection of ground water quality in intensively farmed areas, utilisation of wastewater for irrigation, or combination with outdoor animal husbandry such as pigs or poultry.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Food systems > Recycling, balancing and resource management
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > V.1 (SYNERGY) Coordination and synergy
Deposited By: Hansen, Grethe
ID Code:3959
Deposited On:15 Nov 2004
Last Modified:28 Apr 2013 15:54
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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