University of Oulu

Dhanapala S, Nilmalgoda H, Gunathilake MB, Rathnayake U, Wimalasiri EM. Energy Balance Assessment in Agricultural Systems; An Approach to Diversification. AgriEngineering. 2023; 5(2):950-964.

Energy balance assessment in agricultural systems : an approach to diversification

Saved in:
Author: Dhanapala, Susanthika1; Nilmalgoda, Helitha2; Gunathilake, Miyuru B.3,4;
Organizations: 1Department of Export Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya 70140, Sri Lanka
2Department of Biosystems Technology, Faculty of Technology, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya 70140, Sri Lanka
3Hydrology and Aquatic Environment, Environment and Natural Resources, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy and Research, 1433 Ås, Norway
4Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
5Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, Faculty of Engineering and Design, Atlantic Technological University, Ash Lane, F91 YW50 Sligo, Ireland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-14


The energy in agricultural systems is two-fold: transformation and utilization. The assessment and proper use of energy in agricultural systems is important to achieve economic benefits and overall sustainability. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the energy balance of crop and livestock production, net energy ratio (NER), and water use efficiency (WUE) of crops of a selected farm in Sri Lanka using the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. In order to assess the diversification, 18 crops and 5 livestock types were used. The data were obtained from farm records, personal contacts, and previously published literature. Accordingly, the energy balance in crop production and livestock production was −316.87 GJ ha⁻¹ Year⁻¹ and 758.73 GJ Year⁻¹, respectively. The energy related WUE of crop production was 31.35 MJ m⁻³. The total energy balance of the farm was 736.2 GJ Year⁻¹. The results show a negative energy balance in crop production indicating an efficient production system, while a comparatively higher energy loss was shown from the livestock sector. The procedure followed in this study can be used to assess the energy balance of diversified agricultural systems, which is important for agricultural sustainability. This can be further developed to assess the carbon footprint in agricultural systems.

see all

Series: AgriEngineering
ISSN: 2624-7402
ISSN-E: 2624-7402
ISSN-L: 2624-7402
Volume: 5
Issue: 2
Pages: 950 - 964
DOI: 10.3390/agriengineering5020059
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (