Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Environmental footprint of agriculture and food processing industry and technological measures for its lowering in the future

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.04  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Sustainable agriculture 

Code Science Field
B006  Biomedical sciences  Agronomics 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
environmatal footprint of agriculture and foof processing industry, carbon footprint of agriculture
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  11202  PhD Fouad Al-Mansour  Energy engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2013  206 
2.  11233  PhD Marjeta Čandek Potokar  Animal production  Researcher  2011 - 2013  784 
3.  05660  Zoran Čergan  Plant production  Researcher  2011 - 2013  280 
4.  24227  Matjaž Česen  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2011 - 2013  246 
5.  17302  Anton Gjergek    Technical associate  2011 - 2013  25 
6.  12288  MSc Tone Godeša  Plant production  Researcher  2011 - 2013  216 
7.  00371  PhD Viktor Jejčič  Plant production  Head  2011 - 2013  1,183 
8.  19424  Marko Pečkaj  Energy engineering  Researcher  2011 - 2013  105 
9.  11087  MSc Tomaž Poje  Plant production  Researcher  2011 - 2013  2,237 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,044 
2.  0401  Agricultural institute of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5055431  20,081 
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is traditionally used for the analysis of industrial production systems in recent years as well as to assess the environmental impact of agriculture. LCA is a computational system, describing and quantifying the environmental acceptability of indicators and it is also measurable. Agriculture itself contributes a significant share of greenhouse gases, and it will in future be faced with significant emissions reduction requirements. The impact of agriculture on climate change is double as both sink and source of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide binds from the atmosphere and converts in the carbon in plants which is returning after the breakdown of plant in the atmosphere. Plants are able to bind carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and stored as carbon in the structure of plants and the soil itself. For agriculture, the biggest challenge is to find the right balance between adapting agricultural production and provision of adequate quantities of food and energy resources and also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The most important greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides. Carbon dioxide is emitted in agriculture due to the use of fossil fuels to power farms machinery and other purposes (production of mineral fertilizers, plant processing, processing of agricultural products, storage, cooling, etc.). Part of the loss of organic mass in the inappropriate use and treatment of the soil. The use of agricultural machinery in conventional farming requires the separate working operations, a large number of passages that influence on higher energy consumption and also greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the additional greenhouse gases are emitted due to loss of organic mass in the inadequate use and treatment of the soil (especially with conventional soil tillage operations). Economical and ecologically oriented agricultural production, which now comes to the first line, puts additional requirements: reduce labor costs and energy conservation for soil tillage (reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated as a result of use of agricultural mechanization, use of mineral fertilizers and pesticides, etc.), intensive treatment of soil must be reduced only to emergency measures. For agricultural and livestock production it is very important that finished product has environmental footprint as low as possible, which can be achieved with modern technology of production, processing and storage of the finished product. Significant impact on energy consumption has the use of fertilizers, pesticides and influence of transport distances. The project will: - Created a database for the Slovenian agricultural production. - Determine the most appropriate methodology for calculating the environmental and carbon footprint of domestic agriculture - Calculated the carbon footprint for organic, integrated and conventional production and the range of important agricultural products and foodstuffs produced in Slovenia in comparison to products from the global market. - Defined the set of measures to reduce the current environmental footprint of agriculture - Online computer calculator will be made to determine the environmental footprint of agriculture - Development of the ground for a new certification schemes for agricultural products or food that will contain the environmental impact of all inputs and outputs in production Poslušajte Fonetično Slovar
Significance for science
The environmental footprint of agriculture (crop production, fruit growing and viticulture, horticulture and animal husbandry) was determined with the life cycle of agricultural products and finished products from agricultural crops, which constitute the basic raw materials for the food processing industry. Carbon footprint was defined for conventional, integrated and organic farming by using the energy consumption for the production, transportation, processing, storage and processing of agricultural products. In addition to the emissions arising from the use of agricultural machinery also were included emissions from organic and mineral fertilizers. Energy measurements on pilot farms have shown significantly influence of energy consumption on the carbon footprint of conventional and modern farm technologies in the agricultural, fruit and vineyard growing, horticultural production and animal husbandry. Detail analysis of energy consumption was made in the processing of agricultural products (drying, cooling, internal farm transport, etc.) and products from livestock. For the transportation of agricultural products from farm gate to processing sites or end-user we analyzed the energy consumption for the transport of agricultural products.
Significance for the country
In Slovenia was made first detailed analysis of the environmental footprint of agriculture and agro-industry. The analysis was made on the base of energy measurements on pilot farms, which cover different areas for farming (on the level of difficulty of growing conditions and soil climatic conditions). We included also energy consumption in the processing and transport for the Slovenian conditions for determining carbon footprint of final agricultural products and finished products from livestock.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, final report
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