Energy ratios in Finnish agricultural production




The objective of this study was to assess energy ratios and net energy in plant production and energy ratios in animal production in Finland. Energy ratios and net energy were determined on the basis of plant- and animal-specific energy analyses. In plant production, energy ratios and net energy were assessed as a function of nitrogen fertilization, because indirect energy input in the form of agrochemicals was 5473% from the total energy input and nitrogen was responsible for the major part of this. The highest energy ratio was 18.6 for reed canary grass. As a whole reed canary grass was superior to the other crops, which were barley, spring wheat, spring turnip rape, ley for silage, potato and sugar beet. Reed canary grass and sugar beet gained the highest net energy yields of 111115 GJ ha-1. The optimum energy ratio was gained in general with less nitrogen fertilization intensity than farmers use. The energy ratios in pork production varied between 0.141.28 depending on what was included or excluded in the analysis and for milk production between 0.151.85. Ratios of 1.28 in pork production and 1.85 in milk production are unrealistic as they do not give any shelter to the animals, although they can be approached in very low-input production systems. If the ratio is calculated with feed energy content then the ratio is low, 0.140.22 for pork and 0.15 for milk. This shows that animals can convert 1422 percent of the input energy to usable products. In pork production, the largest portion of the energy input was the ventilation of the building. In milk production milking and cooling consumes a lot of energy and for this reason the electricity consumption is high.;


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How to Cite

MIKKOLA, H. J., & AHOKAS, J. (2009). Energy ratios in Finnish agricultural production. Agricultural and Food Science, 18(3-4), 332–346.