(searched for: doi:10.1007/s11356-020-10395-x)
Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 296; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113182
A field experiment was conducted during 2007–2019 under various rabi (winter) crops (viz., wheat, maize, barley and mustard) on a Vertisol in sub-tropical Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) with different tillage systems to assess energy indices, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and carbon sustainability index in assured irrigated fields. The tillage systems were: no tillage sown by a zero till drill (NT), no tillage with retention of previous crop residues at 6 t ha−1 and sowing by a happy turbo seeder (HT), and conventional tillage (CT) where sowing was performed by a multi-crop zero till drill after twice harrowing + twice tilling + once rotavator operations. Significantly higher input energy was observed in wheat followed by maize, barley and mustard. Among tillage systems, CT plots consumed higher input energy that was about 20, 21 to 22, 25 to 26 and 20–22% higher than HT and NT in wheat, maize, barley and mustard, respectively. However, output energy and energy use efficiency were highest in HT. The total GHG emission (kg CO2 equivalent ha−1) was highest in wheat (2,351) followed by maize (2,274), barley (1,859) and mustard (1,652). Among tillage systems, CT produced about 31–34%, 33–34%, 37–40% and 28–30% higher GHG emission than HT and NT under wheat, maize, barley and mustard, respectively. The CT plots had lower carbon sustainability index and carbon efficiency than ZT and HT in all crops. In short, HT recorded significantly higher energy use efficiency and lower global warming potential (GWP) than CT in all crops. Thus, HT could be a promising agro-technique for production of rabi crops in the IGP. Among rabi crops, barley production was energy efficient and had less GWP. In rabi crop production, the highest energy sources was mineral fertilizer use (25–49%) and second highest source was irrigation water (14–44%). These can be substituted with use of the organic sources of fertilizers and application of solar and wind power in irrigation, respectively.
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 293; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126162
Identification of the appropriate tillage production system having lower energy use and carbon-emission, and better crop productivity is becoming increasingly important to maintain the environmental sustainability. In the present study, a comprehensive system analysis was performed for four consecutive years (2016–2019) in three major agroecosystems of eastern India: eastern Indo-Gangetic plain, coastal agroecosystem and hill & plateau region. Six rice-based production systems with different levels of farm mechanization viz., a) fully mechanized tillage, b) partly mechanized tillage and c) traditional tillage were considered in the analysis. The main aim was to assess the energy flow and carbon-balance of diverse tillage production systems. Among the different sources of total input energy, chemical fertilizer accounted for the highest energy used in partly mechanized tillage (44%) and mechanized tillage (38%) followed by diesel, irrigation water, plant protection chemical, seed and electricity. Seed, human, animal energy and farmyard manure accounted for 21, 20, 16 and 16%, respectively, of the total energy input in traditional tillage. Maximum energy input (52161 MJ ha−1) was noted in mechanized tillage and minimum with traditional tillage (16879 MJ ha−1). Cropping systems followed in eastern Indo-Gangetic plain were more energy-intensive (50908 MJ ha−1) compared to coastal-ecosystem (27459 MJ ha−1). On an average, the total energy output in mechanized tillage (395245 MJ ha−1) were 0.3 and 2.4 times higher over partly mechanized and traditional tillage, respectively. Overall, the present results indicated that partly mechanized tillage and coastal agroecosystem were the most energy-efficient with an energy ratio of 8.88 and 9.81, respectively. Mechanized tillage was 0.24 and 1.66 times more carbon-intensive in comparison to partly mechanized and traditional tillage system. Mechanized tillage had higher carbon efficiency (3.75), carbon-sustainability index (2.75), carbon-footprint in spatial scales (4342 kg CO2eq. ha−1), but had 34% less carbon-footprint in yield scales compared to traditional tillage. Mechanized tillage showed 22 and 73% higher system productivity compared to partly mechanized and traditional tillage, respectively. Partly mechanized tillage had a 23% lower cultivation cost than mechanized tillage. Thus, the present study suggests that partly mechanize tillage was the most appropriate energy and carbon-efficient production system in eastern India.
Agronomy, Volume 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121844
In South Asia, soil health degradation is affecting the sustainability of the rice-wheat cropping system (RWCS). Indeed, for the sustainability of the soil quality, new adaptive technologies, i.e., conservation tillage and straw management resource conservation, are promising options. This investigation was focused on the interaction of tillage and straw management practices and their effects on Aridisols, Yermosols soil quality, and nutrients dynamics with different soil profiles within RWCS. The long-term field experiment was started in 2014 with the scenarios (i) conventional tillage (SC1), (ii) residue incorporation (SC2), (iii) straw management practices (SC3 and SC4) and conservation tillage (SC5). Conservation tillage practice (SC5) showed significant impact on properties of soil and availability of nutrients in comparison with that of conventional farmers practice (SC1) at the studied soil depths. The SC5 showed significant results of gravitational water contents (25.34%), moderate pH (7.4), soil organic-matter (7.6 g kg−1), total nitrogen (0.38 g kg−1), available phosphate (7.4 mg kg−1), available potassium (208 mg kg−1) compared to SC1 treatment at 0 to 15 cm soil depth. Whereas, DTPA-extractable-Cu, Mn, and Zn concentration were significantly higher, i.e., 1.12 mg kg−1, 2.14 mg kg−1, and 4.35 mg kg−1, respectively under SC5 than conventional farmer’s practices, while DTPA (diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid) extractable Fe (6.15 mg kg−1) was more in straw management practices (SC4) than conventional and conservation tillage. Therefore, conservation tillage (SC5) can surge the sustainability of the region by improving soil assets and nutrients accessibility and has the potential to minimize inorganic fertilizers input in the long run.
Energy, Volume 214; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2020.119104
Energy is a vital component of every stage of the crop production process. Therefore, ensuring its efficient use confers tremendous environmental benefits over time. This paper aims to assess the energy use efficiency (EUE) and cost-benefits analysis of four different rice cultivation methods in Central Myanmar from a sustainability standpoint. The cultivation methods analysed include two alternative methods; the system of rice intensification (SRI) method (T1) and the modified SRI method (T2); as well as two conventional rice cultivation methods practised by farmers in that region; the transplanting method (T3) and the direct seeding method (T4). The study found that alternative rice cultivation methods required significantly less total energy inputs than conventional methods. It also showed that EUE was significantly higher in T2 compared to T3 and T4. The cost-benefit analysis indicates that the alternative rice cultivation methods were significantly higher than those of conventional methods. It found that the energy indices and economic parameters of T2 were affected positively as indicated by the fewer inputs required to produce rice using this method. Finally, the study concluded that the modified SRI method is promising for rice cultivation strategy in Central Myanmar and its adjoining regions.