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Organic Farming Scenarios: Operational Analysis and Costs of implementing Innovative Technologies

Sørensen, Claus G.; Madsen, Niels A. and Jacobsen, Brian H. (2005) Organic Farming Scenarios: Operational Analysis and Costs of implementing Innovative Technologies. Biosystems Engineering, 91 (2), pp. 127-137.

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The objective of this study has been to design a number of farm scenarios representing future plausible and internally consistent organic farming enterprises based on milk, pig, and plant production and use these farm scenarios as the basis for the generation of generalised knowledge on labour and machinery input and costs. Also, an impact analysis and feasibility study of introducing innovative technologies into the organic
production system has been invoked.
The labour demand for the production farms ranged from 61 to 253hha1 and from 194 to 396hLU1 (LU is livestock units) for work in the animal houses. Model validation results showed that farm managerial tasks amount to 14–19% of the total labour requirement. The impact of introducing new technologies and work methods related to organic farming was evaluated using two innovative examples of weed control: a
weeding robot and an integrated system for band steaming. While these technologies increased the capital investment required, the labour demand was reduced by 83–85% in sugar beet and 60% in carrots, which would improve profitability by 72–85% if fully utilised. Profitability is reduced, if automation efforts result in insufficient weed removal compared to manual weeding. Specifically, the benefit gained by robotic weeding
was sensitive to the weed intensity and the initial price of the equipment, but a weeding efficiency of under 25% is required to make it unprofitable.
This approach demonstrates the feasibility of applying and testing operational models in organic farming systems in the continued evaluation and documentation of labour and machinery inputs.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:operational analysis, innovative technologies, costs, machine performance
Subjects: Farming Systems > Buildings and machinery
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.2 (ECON-ORG) Analyses of the future development of organic farming
Deposited By: Soerensen, Senior Scientist Claus
ID Code:5356
Deposited On:01 Sep 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:31
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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