Assessment of Productivity and Economic Viability of Combined Food and Energy (CFE) Production System in Denmark

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Agro-ecosystems for integrated food, fodder, and biomass production can contribute
to achieving European Union goals to increase renewable energy sources and reduce greenhouse
gas emissions. The study objective was to evaluate the productivity and economic returns from a
combined food and energy (CFE) system compared to sole winter wheat and sole short rotation
woody crop (SRWC) production. Two excel-based models viz. Yield-SAFE and Farm-SAFE, were
used to simulate agronomic productivity and economic assessment respectively. Yield-SAFE was
calibrated and validated with measured data from CFE from 1996–2016. When compared over
temporal scale of 21 years, CFE systems with 150–200 m alley width had the highest net present value
(NPV) followed by 100 m, 50 m, sole winter wheat and sole SRWC, indicating higher profitability of
CFE systems. Sensitivity analysis of NPV with 10% yield fluctuations, and with 0–10% discount
rate, demonstrated that CFE systems was more profitable than sole crops, indicating higher resilience
in CFE systems. LER in CFE ranged from 1.14–1.34 indicative of higher productivity of CFE systems
compared to component monocultures. Hence, the study has demonstrated that the productivity and
the economic viability of CFE systems, were higher than sole crops, for informed decision making
by farm managers and policy makers to contribute to renewable energy biomass production and to
mitigate the impending adverse climate change effects on agricultural production.
Original languageEnglish
Article number166
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2019

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