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The ecological footprint method on a farm level – a case study on a UK organic farm with parallel cropping

Schmutz, Dr Ulrich; Firth, Mr Chris; Lewis, Mr Kevin and Lillywhite, Mr Robert (2008) The ecological footprint method on a farm level – a case study on a UK organic farm with parallel cropping. Working paper, HRDA Garden Organic . [Unpublished]

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There is increasing interest in the farming community to understand and improve their ecological footprint and reduce CO2-carbon emissions. This case study compares the ecological footprint of organic and conventional cabbage, celeriac, sugar beet and winter wheat crops on a UK commercial, parallel cropping, farm. Results show lower ecological footprints and energy ratios in all organic crops. However, CO2-emissions per unit yield are only lower if the fertility building is not considered. Including energy use for fertility building and reducing yields in proportion to the fertility area brings CO2-emissions per unit yield level with conventional. It is concluded that in order to improve their ecological footprint organic farming needs to improve yield levels and make better use of the fertility area by using it as biogas for energy production, growing main crop legumes or using only short-term fertility building.

EPrint Type:Working paper
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:ecological footprint, energy use, CO2 emissions, organic farming
Subjects: Environmental aspects
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Indicators and other value-laden measures
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Crop husbandry
Food systems > Recycling, balancing and resource management
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: UK > Garden Organic (HDRA)
Deposited By: Schmutz, Dr Ulrich
ID Code:11412
Deposited On:03 Mar 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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