Dr. Mohamed Al-Mansouri / د. محمد توفيق المنصوري
al-mansourimt@hotmail.com
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08 November 2007

كاتب كندي من اصل عربي من اليمن حاصل على درجة الدكتوراه في مجال الاقتصاد والعلوم الزراعية له ابحاث عديدة متخصصة في مجاله نشرت في مجلات عربية وعالمية باللغة العربية والانجليزية والبولندية

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Energy in agriculture production is divided into energy input and output and both of them involve two or more streams of energy: materials energy input stream which consists of seeds, grains, leaves, plant residue, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and fertilizers, and the agro-technical operations energy input stream which consists of tillage, sowing, fertilizers, irrigation, cultivation and pest control, and harvesting and transportation of the yields. On the other hand, the output energy streams which involves the materials stream of energy output which consists of seeds, grains, leaves, straws, plant residues, insects and herbs. Additionally, there are other streams of energy, which are related to the agricultural environment such as solar energy, winds, rains, herbs, insects and mankind activities. Studies of the agriculture economic evaluation of plant cultivation and system of plant sequence in international literature may be viewed ina range of input and energy effects. Monetary input due to different agro-economic relationships makes the economic evaluation comparison impossible.
 
From the accessed thesis by SIR AL- MANSOURI MOHAMED TAWFIK Ph.D and supervised by [ SOBCZAK, DZIENIA, RZESZUTEK 1995 ], and quoted literature in this article, and other studies not mentioned it is clear that the studies on energy utilization in agriculture were first introduced in the United States of America, Canada and England. The pioneering dissertation was the work of PIMENTEL form Cornel University entitled” Energy Use in World Food Production” (1974). Detailed studies carried out 44 farms in the State of Michigan considered plant production [ STOUT et al 1982 ]. The author points out that mineral fertilizers constitute 25-75% of the total energy input and corn drying as much as 27%. In animal production, the process of maintaining stables is the most energy consuming.
 
 
At the same time, studies considering the same matter were under taken in Great Britain. The main criteria of evaluation and indicators were included in the book by LEACH entitled “ Energy and Food Production” (1976). In a later work entitled “ Energy Agriculture and Management” [ ROBINSON AND MOLLAN 1982 ] a wide range of results and opinions on energy consumption regarding such elements of the                     agro-technological process as drying, crop storing, animal production energy, plant and animal product processing were shown.
 
American, Canadian and British sources of studies were the inspiration for studying energy in plant production in India [ ZENTENER and CAMPBELL 1974. PATHAK and BINING 1985, SINGH et al 1985, MITTAL et al 1992 ]. In India the plant production is mainly dependent upon irrigation, human and animal labour input, and to a lesser degree on material input. Rice, wheat and corn as the main cereal cover 75% of arable lands, but further increase and intensification of production is required. For this reason, there have been many studies on the species cultivated in the system of two field rotation “ rice-wheat” and corn-wheat”. The amount of energy input on those rotations was lower than or close to data given in East Europe literature, which was also dependent on the region and soil fertility. The structure of the input, however, is different in rotational cultivation of wheat with rice up top 68% of the total energy input was used on irrigation, while in the case of wheat with corn it was only 39%. However, over 50% of that came from non-renewable sources such as petrol and electricity.
 
In Chinese agriculture wheat, corn, rice, soya and millet are the main crops. One hundred fifty percent more energy was used to cultivate them and they were 10-100 times more energy-consuming than in American agriculture[ DAZHONG and PIMENTAL 1984 ].
 
In Europe, the interest in energy input in agriculture is mainly in the cultivation of winter wheat, spring barley, corn and sugar beet, and to a smaller degree leguminous and oil rape. Apart from the pioneering country, England, the above crops were widely developed in the Czech and Slovakian Republics. The following are works on that subject [ KREJČÍŘ 1986, 1988, STRAŠIL and ŠIMON 1988, ŠIMON 1990, STRAŠIL1990. BRAUER 1992, DAOŘAKOVA 1991, REPKA AND DANKO 1991 ]. The above works are significant due their consideration of solar energy, the energy of after-harvest remains, energy input in plant cultivation as well as their cultivation in a crop rotation system. The works of [ KREJČÍŘ 1986  and BRAUER 1992 ] described a monoculture system. From other countries of southern Europe, the following works were quoted from Romania [ STEFAN and TANASESCU 1991 ], from Greece                          [TSATSIRELIS 1993 ], and from Switzerland [ ALFŐLDI and NIGGLI 1994 ]. The latter considers energy input valuation in biodynamic and biological systems compared to a conventional system. The authors prove that energy input can be lowered in ecological systems due to the abandonment of artificial fertilizer and pesticide usage, lowering the yield and improving the input efficiency. When summarizing the results of economic evaluation research of the cultivation of sugar beet, spring barley, winter oil rape, winter wheat and field bean cultivated in multi-directional crop rotation system and in multi-annual continuous cultivation, it has to be indicated that they originate from the period of the highest yield achievement. Relying on the high production functions of ecosystems required a high input of fertilizers and pesticides [ NIEWIADOMSKI 1995 ]. In the current economic conditions there is a need for a production system, which may gain high quality products, not necessarily the highest possible – remembering that agro-system utilization should not harm the environment, but positively shape its ecological balance [ RYSZKOWSKI 1988, VRKOČ 1992 ]. One should look for ways to better utilize the agro-technological factors controlling plant development and ensure both conflict-free plant production and secondary animal plant production [ NOWICKI and SZWJKOWSKI 1992 ].
 
Apart from the need for specialization, the choice of a sowing structure, which even to a small degree, ensures rational sequencing, is highly demanded [ ZAWIŚLAK et al 1992, NIEWIADOMSKI 1993 ]. The example and many other earlier works proved that the crop rotation system already in the second sequence brings higher production results than the utilization of a large amount of mineral fertilizing a high level of chemical plant protection and even species selection [ ZAWIŚLAK 1994, ZAWIŚLAK and ADAMIAK 1994a ].
 
Agriculture in the future will have to produce while energy costs rise. This will demand economical input utilization; and above all, improvement of the efficiency of its utilization [ SPEDDING 1983 ]. The above situation considers the limitation of yield losses in the period of crop gathering and storing, further improvement and cost reduction of fertilizer and pesticide production, plant-product processing in food industry, the full utilization of waste, the utilization of energy originating from renewable sources, for example, from biological nitrogen instead of artificial nitrogen furriers, plant utilization as a source of food and fodder as well as the industrial processing of plant energy into other useful products such as fuels [ MANTEUFFEL 1987, ROBINSON and MOLLAN 1982 ].
 






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