Assessing Sustainability of Rainfed Wheat (Triticum Aestivum) Production under Various Soil Tillage Systems: An Energy and Economic Analysis
Rana Shahzad Noor1,2, Fiaz Hussain2, Irfan Abbas3, Muhammad Umair2, Abu Saad2, Muhammad Umar Farooq4 and Yong Sun1*
Energy management is an essential component in sustainable agricultural production systems. The study was mainly designed to evaluate the impact of four kind of soil tillage as; No/zero tillage (ZT), conservational tillage (PT), reduced tillage (RT) and conventional tillage (CT) on wheat yield, fuel usage and energy use efficiency under rainfed agriculture systems for Chakwal-50 wheat cultivator at Koont research station of PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi during 2018 and 2019 wheat seasons. The study treatments were evaluated in term of energy analysis and economics of wheat production. Highest energy inputs obtained were fertilizer, seed and fuel + oil energies in all tillage systems for wheat sowing, respectively. Results interpretation indicated that the highest (2,300 kgha-1 and 40.56 lha-1) and lowest (1,930 kgha-1 and 8.97 lha-1) wheat yields were measured in CT and ZT farming treatments, respectively. The maximum and lowest energy values were calculated in PT (6.03) and CT (5.14), respectively. The maximum specific energy measured was (7.17 MJ kg-1) in ZT treatment, while the least specific energy was calculated in the RT (6.54 MJ kg-1). Soil tillage systems have sequence in term of net energy values (MJ) as PT> RT> CT> ZT. The profitability of ZT, PT, RT and CT were 0.95, 0.69, 0.52 and 0.32. The economic analysis results described that intense application of agricultural machinery and operations were caused more energy consumption and reduction of energy use efficiency and may compromised on net energy and profitability of agroecosystems eventually. In rainfed agriculture system, all types of tillage as zero, reduced, and conservational systems could be applied instead of conventional tillage system in wheat farming according to studied energy parameters.