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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

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Environmental support to agricultural production processes S4

Rydberg, Torbjörn

Department of Crop Production Science S-75007 Uppsala

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This paper illustrates the importance of analyzing the agriculturalproduction processes as an open sub-system in the overall global ecosystem.Our agricultural systems dependence on natural resources, derived directlyfrom the environment or indirectly from the human economy, have to beincluded in the analyses. By using the EMERGY concept developed by H.T.Odum it is possible to evaluate the environmental support to productionprocesses since the ecological systems, including agroecosystems, aredependent on their resource inputs, such as different fuels, differentmatter and different information, all accompanied by energy. However,different kinds of energy have different impacts and should not beconsidered equal as in energy analyses. EMERGY corrects for thesedifferences. Examples of energy- and EMERGY-evaluations are given on thesame agricultural production processes.
Odum, H. T. 1995. Environmental accounting, emergy and environmentaldecision making. Wiley, New York.