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Ecological efficiency of production and the ecological footprint of organic agriculture

Author(s): Matjaž Turinek B.Sc., Young researcher | Maja Turinek | Silva Grobelnik Mlakar M.Sc., Senior Lecturer | Franc Bavec Ph.D., Full Professor | Martina Bavec (corresponding author) Ph.D., Associate Professor

Journal: Journal for Geography
ISSN 1854-665X

Volume: 5-2/2011;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 129;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: organic agriculture | biodynamic agriculture | ecological footprint | comparison of farming systems

The rising energy prices and climatic changes have intensified the search for alternative farming systems where energy consumption per unit would be lowered. A long-term field trial, started in 2007 at the University of Maribor, focuses on food quality and the ecological footprint of onventional (CON), integrated (INT), organic (ORG) and biodynamic (BD) farming systems. The gained data has been evaluated and interpreted using the SPIonExcel tool. Results from the first year show better environmental performance of both, ORG and BD systems in production of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and spelt (Triticum spelta L.), mainlydue to the non-use of external synthetic production factors. When yields are added to the equation, the ORG and BD systems emerge also as more efficient per unit of land area. Thus, the ORG and BD farming systems present viable alternatives for reducing the impact ofagriculture on climate change, while ensuring a more sustainable food security.

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