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Energy input-output analysis for maize production systems in Shooshtar, Iran.


Maize is the most widely grown crop in the Iran with 1,650,000 tons in a cropping area of 225,000 ha [1]. Energy has been a key input of agriculture since the age of subsistence agriculture. It is an established fact worldwide that agricultural production is positively correlated with energy input [16]. Agriculture is both a producer and consumer of energy. Energy input-output analysis is usually used to evaluate the efficiency and environmental impacts of production systems [10].

Energy use in agriculture has been increasing in response to increasing population, limited supply of arable land and a desire for higher standards of living [7]. in mother agriculture system input energy is very much more than traditional agriculture system, but energy use efficiently has been redacting in response to no affective use of input energy. Efficient use of energies helps to achieve increased production and productivity and contributes to the economy, profitability and competitiveness of agriculture sustainability in rural areas [11,14].

The main objective of this study is analysis of energy use and estimate energy indicator of maize production systems in Shooshtar county of Khuzestan province in Iran that can be affective for optimal management of agroecosystems.

Materials and Methods

This study was conducted in summer 2011 in Shooshtar County (32 30' N, 48 20' E), south of Iran. Shooshtar is one of the important maize production areas in the south part of Iran in Khuzestan province that maize is grown as second crop.

For this study data were collected from 30 farms applying a face-to-face questionnaire. Other information was collected from the Ministry of Agriculture. Total energy input and output in maize production systems was collected by using questionnaires and data analysis. Basic information on energy inputs and maize yield were entered into Excel spreadsheets and then energy indicators were calculated according Table 1.

Finally energy use efficiency, specific energy, energy productivity and net energy were determined applying standard equations [5,9].

Energy use efficiency=(output energy [MJ[ha.sup.-1]])/ (input energy [MJ[ha.sup.-1]]) (1)

Specific energy=(input energy [MJ[ha.sup.-1]])/(maize yield [Kg[ha.sup.-1]]) (2)

Energy productivity=(maize yield [Kg[ha.sup.-1]])/ (input energy [MJ[ha.sup.-1]]) (3)

Net energy=output energy (MJ[ha.sup.-1])-input energy (MJ[ha.sup.-1]) (4)

Agrochemical energy ratio was calculated by applying Equations 5 [6]:

Agrochemical energy ratio= input energy of agrochemicals (MJ[ha.sup.-1]) /total input energy (MJ[ha.sup.-1]) (5)

The input energy was divided into direct, indirect, renewable and non-renewable energies [7,13] Direct energy covered human labor, diesel fuel, water for irrigation, and Electricity used in the alfalfa production while indirect energy consists of seeds, pesticide, fertilizers and machinery energy. Renewable energy consists of human labor and seeds and nonrenewable energy includes diesel, pesticide, fertilizers, Electricity and machinery. Also In the last part of the research economic analysis of alfalfa production was investigated.

Results and Discussion

Energy use in maize production systems in Shooshtar County:

The inputs used and output in maize production systems, their energy equivalents, and percentages in the total energy input presented in Table 2. The results revealed that total energy input in maize production systems was 39295.50 MJ/ha. N fertilizer used in maize production systems had a high share with 39.10%. Diesel fuel energy used in maize production systems ranked in the second place with 37.82% in the total energy input. The lowest shear of total energy was recorded for Human Labour (0.57%) which is a renewable resource of energy. In this study maize grain yield was 3950Kgha-1 that total Energy equivalents for this amount was 58065 MJ/ha.

Results of energy indicators for maize production systems are shown in Table 3. Accordingly energy efficiency (output-input ratio) was 1.48. Lower energy use efficiency in maize production systems is due to higher energy inputs in these systems for example N fertilizer consumed. Thus indicator was reported 2.8 for wheat production systems in Turkey [15] and 25.75 for sugar beet in turkey [3].

Energy productivity (grain yield per energy input) and specific energy (input energy per grain yield) in maize production systems were 0.10 KgMJ-1 and 9.95 MJ[Kg.sup.-1] respectively. This means that produced maize grain yield per input energy unit was 0.10kg[MJ.sup.-1], or in the other word, in maize production systems, 9.95MJ energy used for production one kg of grain yield. Also, System net energy (output minus input) was calculated as 18769.5 MJ[ha.sup.-1]. Agrochemical energy ratio was 46.42% which is a high portion of input energy of maize production systems. It should be mentioned that in maize production in south part of Iran, could be limited using amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Energetic of producing maize systems in Shooshtar County:

The total means energy input as direct and indirect, renewable, and non-renewable forms for greenhouse and open-field maize production was given in Table 4. The total energy input necessary for maize production was 39295.50 MJ/ha. Out of all 52.29% of the total energy, input use in maize production was in the form of indirect energy. The remaining part of energy input use (47.71%) was in the form of direct energy. On the other hand the research results indicate that the total energy input used in maize production systems was mainly dependent on non-renewable energy forms (Table 4). As can be seen from the table, on an average, the non-renewable form of energy input was 89.20% in maize production systems of the total energy input while the 10.80% of input energy was renewable energy resource. The high rate of non-renewable and direct energy inputs indicates an intensive use of chemical fertilizer and diesel fuel consumption in these agroecosystems.


In this study the input and output energy for maize production in Shooshtar agriculture systems in Khuzestan province of Iran have been investigated. That Following conclusions are drawn;

1. Total energy input and output in maize production systems were 39295.50 and 58065 MJ[ha.sup.-1].

2. That the highest share, of input energy was reported for nitrogen fertilizer, diesel fuel, and Water for irrigation (39.10, 37.83, and 9.31%) respectively.

3. The energy use efficiency, energy productivity, specific energy, net energy of maize production systems were 1.48, 0.10 kg [MJ.sup.-1], 9.95 MJ [kg.sup.-1], and 18769.5MJ ha-1 respectively.

4. The share of total input energy as direct, indirect, renewable and nonrenewable forms were 47.71, 52.29, 10.20 and 89.80 %respectively.


This article is part of an yield investigation in Islamic Azad university of Shoushtar. So we thanks of investigational domain of shoushtar, specially miss Dialamepoor engineer for every cooperation.


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(1) S.H. Lorzadeh, (2) A. Mahdavidamghani, (3) M.R. Enayatgholizadeh and (4) M. Yousefi

(1,3) Department of Agronomy and plant Breeding, Shoushtar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shoushtar, Iran.

(2,4) Department of Agroecology, Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti Universtity, G.C., Tehran, Iran.

Corresponding Auhtor

SH. Lorzadeh, A., Department of Agronomy and plant Breeding, Shoushtar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shoushtar, Iran.

Table 1: Energy equivalents of input and output in maize production

Equipment /inputs Unit equivalents Reference

A. Inputs
1. Human Labor H 1.96 [10,17]
2. Machinery h 62.7 [3,4]
3. Diesel fuel L 51.33 [3,4]
4. Chemical Fertilizer Kg
(a) Nitrogen 66.14 [3,12]
(b) Phosphate ([P.sub.2][O.sub.5]) 12.44 [3,12]
5. Chemical 120 [11,2]
6. Water for irrigation M3 .63 [4,5]
7. Seed Kg 14.7 [10,8]

B. Output
1. maize 14.7 [10,8]

Table 2: Energy equivalents of input and output in maize
production systems in Shooshtar.

 Total energy
 Quantity equivalents Percentage
 per unit (MJ[ha. of total
Quantity (input and output) area (ha) sup.1-]) energy (%)

A. Inputs
1. Human Lab our (h) 114.17 223.77 0.57
2. Machinery (h) 31.35 1952.17 4.97
3. Diesel fuel(L) 289.56 14863.12 37.82
4. Chemical Fertilizer(kg)
(a) Nitrogen 232.3 15364.32 39.10
(b) Phosphate ([P.sub.2]
 [O.sub.5]) 138 1716.72 4.37
5. Pesticides(kg) 9.65 1158 2.95
6. Seed(kg) 24.3 357.21 0.91
7. Water for irrigation 5809.8 3660.18 9.31
Total energy input(MJ) 39295.50 100

B. Output
1. maize 3950 58065 100
Total energy input (MJ) 58065 100

Table 3: Indicators of energy use in maize production systems.

Indicators Unit Quantity

Inputs energy MJ[ha.sup.-1] 39295.50
Output energy MJ[ha.sup.-1] 58065
 grain yield Kg[ha.sup.-1] 3950
Energy use efficiency 1.48
Specific energy MJ[kg.sup.-1] 9.95
Energy productivity KgM[J.sup.-1] 0.10
Agrochemical Energy Ratio % 46.42
Net energy MJ[ha.sup.-1] 18769.5

Table 4: Total energy input in the form of direct, indirect, renewable
and Non-renewable for maize production (MJ[ha.sup.-1]).

Indicators Quantity (MJ [ha.sup.-1]) Percentage (%)

Direct energy (a) 18747.07 47.71
Indirect energy (b) 20548.43 52.29
Renewable energy (c) 4241.16 10.80
Non-renewable energy (d) 35054.34 89.20
Total energy input 39295.50 100

(a) Includes human labor, diesel, water for irrigation, (b) Includes
seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, machinery. (c) Includes human labor,
seeds, and water for irrigation. (d) Includes diesel, pesticides,
fertilizers, and machinery.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Lorzadeh, S.H.; Mahdavidamghani, A.; Enayatgholizadeh, M.R.; Yousefi, M.
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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