Environmental support to agricultural production processes S4
Department of Crop Production Science S-75007 Uppsala
|This paper illustrates the importance of
analyzing the agriculturalproduction processes as an open sub-system in the overall global
ecosystem.Our agricultural systems dependence on natural resources, derived directlyfrom
the environment or indirectly from the human economy, have to beincluded in the analyses.
By using the EMERGY concept developed by H.T.Odum it is possible to evaluate the
environmental support to productionprocesses since the ecological systems, including
agroecosystems, aredependent on their resource inputs, such as different fuels,
differentmatter and different information, all accompanied by energy. However,different
kinds of energy have different impacts and should not beconsidered equal as in energy
analyses. EMERGY corrects for thesedifferences. Examples of energy- and EMERGY-evaluations
are given on thesame agricultural production processes.
Odum, H. T. 1995. Environmental accounting, emergy and environmentaldecision making. Wiley, New York.