This paper is based upon a comparative environmental evaluation between organic and conventional cultivation of barley, under favorable pedo-climatic conditions. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was performed alternatively using, as Functional Units (FUs), 1 ha of land involved in cultivation of barley to seek environmental sustainability and 1 kg of dry matter grains of produced barley to check productive efficiency. The study aims at highlighting the best solution for cultivation of barley. The topic was addressed because of the lack of comprehensive comparisons between organic and conventional management of barley production systems, which involve specific methodological assumptions (i.e. different FUs, economic allocation procedure between product and co-product). Findings from comparative LCA show that organic barley cultivation is the most environmentally sustainable solution (but not efficient in production), vice versa conventional barley cultivation is the solution most efficient in production (but not environmentally sustainable). Using 1 ha as FU, the cultivation of organic barley produces environmental impacts for 2.33 pt vs. the 2.55 pt of the cultivation of conventional barley. Vice-versa using 1 kg as FU, organic barley accounts for 3.103E-04 pt vs. the 2.396E-04 pt of conventional barley. Efficiency in production and environmental sustainability may also depend on qualitative elements (crop quality and adaptiveness to specific pedo-climatic conditions).

A comparative Life Cycle Assessment between organic and conventional barley cultivation for sustainable agriculture pathways

Caterina Tricase
;
Emilia Lamonaca;Carlo Ingrao;
2018

Abstract

This paper is based upon a comparative environmental evaluation between organic and conventional cultivation of barley, under favorable pedo-climatic conditions. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was performed alternatively using, as Functional Units (FUs), 1 ha of land involved in cultivation of barley to seek environmental sustainability and 1 kg of dry matter grains of produced barley to check productive efficiency. The study aims at highlighting the best solution for cultivation of barley. The topic was addressed because of the lack of comprehensive comparisons between organic and conventional management of barley production systems, which involve specific methodological assumptions (i.e. different FUs, economic allocation procedure between product and co-product). Findings from comparative LCA show that organic barley cultivation is the most environmentally sustainable solution (but not efficient in production), vice versa conventional barley cultivation is the solution most efficient in production (but not environmentally sustainable). Using 1 ha as FU, the cultivation of organic barley produces environmental impacts for 2.33 pt vs. the 2.55 pt of the cultivation of conventional barley. Vice-versa using 1 kg as FU, organic barley accounts for 3.103E-04 pt vs. the 2.396E-04 pt of conventional barley. Efficiency in production and environmental sustainability may also depend on qualitative elements (crop quality and adaptiveness to specific pedo-climatic conditions).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/370671
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