Energy Use in Agriculture


The function of agriculture is to supply food and other biomass to match, in quantity and quality, the demands of population. This requires analysis from various perspectives: energy analysis is one way of describing agricultural performance and technical change, studying future trends, and assessing the human impact on ecological systems aimed at producing crops and livestock.

Keywords: energy analysis; output analysis; input analysis; world agriculture; animal production; fossil energy; sustainability

Figure 1.

Percentage of labour force and GDP in agriculture versus GDP per capita (1991 US$). From Giampietro , with permission.

Figure 2.

Technical inputs related to demographic pressure: (a) irrigation; (b) nitrogen fertilizer. From Giampietro et al. , with permission.

Figure 3.

(a) Productivity of labour versus socioeconomic pressure. (b) Productivity of land versus demographic pressure. From Giampietro , with permission.



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Giampietro, M(Jan 2003) Energy Use in Agriculture. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003294]