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PJAR_33_4_810_819

 

 

 

Research Article

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*

1Department of Agriculture, Biological, Environment and Energy Engineering, College of Engineering, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China; 2Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi 46000, Pakistan; 3School of Agricultural Equipment Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China; 4College of Hydraulic Engineering, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming Yunnan, 650204 P.R China.

Abstract | 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.


Received | April 10, 2020; Accepted | September 4, 2020; Published | October 09, 2020

*Correspondence | Yong Sun, Department of Agriculture, Biological, Environment and Energy Engineering, College of Engineering, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China; Email: sunyong@neau.edu.cn

Citation | Noor, R.S., F. Hussain, I. Abbas, M. Umair, A. Saad, M.U. Farooq and Y. Sun. 2020. Assessing sustainability of rainfed wheat (Triticum aestivum) production under various soil tillage systems: An energy and economic analysis. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research, 33(4): 810-819.

DOI | http://dx.doi.org/10.17582/journal.pjar/2020/33.4.810.819

Keywords | Soil tillage systems, Yield, Fuel consumptions, Energy use analysis, economics


Introduction

In recent years, sustainable agricultural practices have been brought to the agenda in order to protect the natural ecosystem and especially the more sensitive agroecosystem both in the world and in our country, in order to protect soil and increase soil fertility. Sustainable agriculture; soil, water and air, considering environmental factors, human, plant and animal health is the idea of producing production (Chappell et al., 2011; Noor et al., 2020a).

Efficiency increases with the increase in energy input. However, the excessive increase in energy input may cause some economic damages. For energy efficiency, either efficiency should be increased, or inputs should be reduced. Increasing efficiency can be achieved within certain limits (Noor et al., 2020b). However, since energy efficiency can be reduced by the conscious application of inputs, it is important to calculate the energy balance of the systems used in production (Smith et al., 2015).

Usage of energy resources efficiency is the leading protocol for sustainable agricultural production systems which ensured; fossil resources are conserved, and it is possible to reduce air pollution. In order to increase energy efficiency, steps should be taken to improve the production efficiency or to preserve energy-input without compromising efficiency (Muhammadi et al., 2011). Energy saving is therefore having a prior importance for overall sustainable agricultural production (Kang et al., 2009).

Efficient and effective energy use for improved crop production is necessary to supply the optimum energy (Muhammadi and Omid, 2010). In the recent practices of agriculture production, crop seed, fertilizer and chemicals are the main crop inputs that consume energy in the shape of fuel, electricity (Hatirli et al., 2006). Tillage system is considered as the biggest energy and labor consumer in agricultural production i.e. the primary tillage requires 75% of the total energy consumed prior to plantation (Noor et al., 2019). Therefore, by choosing the suitable tillage system; environmental pollution control of systems and determination of energy protection (Tabatabaeefar et al., 2009).

Moitzi et al. (2006) stated that 30% of filed energy is consumed in tillage; Jacobs et al. (2010) found that reducing tillage reduces fuel consumption by 55% having no significant effect of yield; Taner et al. (2015), direct planting and reduced tillage systems with 84% and 54% reduction in the use of towing energy reported (Tabatabaeefar et al., 2009).

Marakoglu and Carman (2010) investigated the energy budget of spinner and spine planting methods in wheat agriculture, they stated that the energy ratio was 6.63 in spike planting and 5.29 in spine planting. Jin et al. (2007) conducted the comparative study on the energy efficiency for wheat production under different soil tillage by comparing, they determined the energy ratio for traditional and direct planting as 3.65 and 4.87, respectively. Aslam et al. (2020a) stated that direct sowing with the highest output/input ratio is a more profitable production technique in their studies where 5 different tillage systems determine the energy balance in wheat production.

Similar results were obtained in another study that the output/input ratio in direct sowing practices in wheat production was determined as 2.81 (Marakoglu and Carman, 2010). Sharma et al. (2011) stated that for winter wheat, 315.32 MJ Mg-1 was spent in Conventional Tillage and 192.38 MJ Mg-1 expenditure was used for conservation tillage while 39.1% savings were achieved in direct sowing system and 85.1% savings were achieved with 47.14 MJ Mg-1 (Tabatabaeefar et al., 2009).

Alluvione et al. (2011) compared energy efficiency in wheat production in different climatic regions and assessed the energy, economy and environmental benefits resulting from selected energy conservation measures. They predicted different energy conservation measures depending on climate and country. They stated that indirect and direct energy inputs are largely specific to geographic location and climate zones, and that the increase in efficiency in climate zones is parallel to the increase in total energy inputs. They stated that energy consumption and energy saving potential in each agricultural production system differ in specific geographical areas and climate regions (Aslam et al., 2020b).

Sustainable agricultural production system in wheat cultivation under dry farming conditions as the main product, energy management is an essential component (Noor et al., 2020c). Therefore, we studied the impact of four soil tillage methods on wheat yield, fuel usage and energy use efficiency under rainfed agriculture systems. This study performed complete energy and economic budget in order to recommend a sustainable and economical practice for wheat sowing in rainfed agriculture system.

 

Materials and Methods

Study area

These study trails were carried out during 2017-18 and 2018-19 wheat seasons at Koont research station Chakwal, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi. The farm location on the world globe is between 33˚ 1’ to 33˚ 6’ N and 73˚ 30’ to 73˚ 45’ E. Soil texture type was sandy clay loam (56% sand, 22.8% silt, 21.2% clay) with a pH of 7.7 at experimental site. Average rainfall and temperature during the crop seasons were shown in Figure 1. The soil physio-chemical properties of trail field were presented in Table 1. The climatic condition is semi-arid sub humid while the rainfall is in bi-seasonal with maturity in late summer and winter. Monsoon season generally have 60-70% of total rainfall (15th June – 15th September). However, winter rain occurs as gentle showers persist prolong, and thus, are more favorable in aspect of agricultural production (Shafiq et al., 2005). Average monthly rainfall and temperature data were also monitored.

 

Table 1: Some soil characteristics at the beginning of the study.

Soil characteristics

Soil depth

0-15 cm

15-30 cm

Soil moisture content (%)

14.73

14.73

Soil bulk density (g cm-3)

1.45

1.45

Soil pH

7.7

7.6

Total salt (%)

0.01

0.02

Lime (%)

9.81

9.67

Soil organic matter (g 100g-1)

5.9

5.8

Total nitrogen (μg g-1)

4.9

4.2

Available phosphorus (P2O5, μg g-1)

3.2

3.0

Available potassium (K2O, μg g-1)

142

139

 

 

Soil tillage systems

The experiment was conducted in 12 subplots of area 2,023 m2 (0.5 acre) each with 3 replications laid out as completely randomized design (CRD). Study consisted of conventional tillage (CT), conservational tillage (PT), reduced tillage (RT) and zero/no tillage (ZT). Zero tillage included directly seeding with no soil disturbance. RT treatment was performed one (1) pass mouldboard plough and wheat seed drill. The PT system included once Chisel plow, disc harrow and seed drill. In CT systems was applied using once mouldboard ploughing at 30-35 cm depth, one pass Chisel plough, one pass disc harrow for soil pulverizing before drill sowing. Agricultural equipment used for plant protection, harvesting and transporting were same in all tillage systems. Fait 385 4WD tractor with 85 HP power was used for all operations in the experiment. The list of Agricultural machinery used in this experiment were given in the Table 2.

 

Table 2: Some features of the machines used in the study.

Machine

No. of units

Width (cm)

Depth (cm)*

Weight (kg)

Tractor, 685S, 4WD

-

-

-

3011

M.B. plow

3 furrows

90

25

355

Chisel plow

9 tines

270

25-40

350

Rotovator

54 blades

214

15

585

Disc harrow

20 Disc

290

100-150

555

Zero-till drill

11 rows

250

6

250

Wheat drill

11 rows

250

5-8

300

Reaper

6 crop dividers

147

10-30***

116

*: Values applied in the experiment; **: ASAE (2011); ***: cutting height from ground level.

 

The sowing process was carried out at 125 kg/ha seed rate and 5cm sowing depth. The sowing tractor speed was measured 5.1 km/h by measuring time to cover 100 meters (Soomro et al., 2009). ASAE 1999 and ASAE 2011 standards were followed for feed rate of other agricultural machinery. Chakwal-50 wheat variety was used in this study. The suggested 120, 30 and 33 kgha-1 of N, P and K, respectively were fed to the field as Urea-fertilizer (46 % nitrogen), diammonium phosphate (18% N and 20% P) and potash (50% K) (Yadava et al., 2016).

Wheat yield and fuel consumptions

Yield was calculated as kg/ha by harvesting all the plants in the middle two rows of each parcel. Fuel consumption values of tillage and sowing machinery were measured using the following equations (Mileusnić et al., 2010). The fuel consumptions of centrifugal manure spreader and combine harvester, lubrication oil consumption was taken as 5% of fuel consumed (Fluck, 1985).

Di = Fi × {Am + (Bm × S) +(Cm × S2)} × WT …(1)

PT = (Di × S) / (3.6 Em Et) … (2)

Qd = PT {2.64 (PT / PTm) + 3.91 - 0.203√738 (PT / PTm) + 173 …(3)

Ca = (S × W × Ef) / 10 … (4)

Where;

Di= traction force (N), Fi= soil textural class (dimensionless), Am Bm Cm= specified parameter specified for agricultural machinery, S=operating speed Kmh-1, W= implement working width (m), T= implement depth (cm), Em= mechanical efficiency of tractor (0.96), Et= draft efficiency, Qd= diesel consumption (1/h), PT=total power required for work (kW), PTm= maximum power at PTO (kW), Ca= field capacity hah-1 and Ef= field efficiency.

Quantity of diesel fuel consumed per unit field area (l/ha) was measured by multiplication of fuel consumption per unit time (Equation 3) and fied capacity (Equation 4). The numerical values of all parameters were mentioned in Table 3.

 

Table 3: The numerical values of the machine’s parameters used in the calculation of fuel consumption.

A

B

C

Fi

Et

Ef

M.B. plow

652.00

0.00

5.10

0.70

0.77

0.85

Chisel plow

91.00

5.40

0.00

0.85

0.77

0.85

Rotovator

600.00

0.00

0.00

1.00

0.77

0.85

Disc harrow

216.00

11.20

0.00

0.88

0.75

0.80

Wheat seed drill

300.00

0.00

0.00

1.00

0.75

0.70

Direct seeder

720.00

0.00

0.00

0.79

0.77

0.70

(ASAE, 1999; ASAE, 2011).

 

Energy analysis

Total production energy (MJ) (inputs and outputs energies) consumed in each treatment was calculated per unit area (hectare). Table 4 showed all energy equivalents for all crop factors used in the wheat production under various farming treatments. Energy indices were measured by applying energy inputs, energy output and grain yield given in the equation below (Khan et al., 2009; Pishgar et al., 2012; Yousefi et al., 2014b).

Energy ratio= Total energy (output) / Total energy (input) …(5)

Specific energy (MJkg-1)= Total energy (input) / wheat yield …(6)

Energy efficiency (kgMJ-1)= Wheat yield / Total energy (input) …(7)

Net energy (MJha-1)= Total energy (output) – Total energy (input) …(8)

Energy profit= Net energy / Total energy (input) … (9)

Economic analysis

The economic analysis for different farming treatments included total costs, gross return, net return, profitability and net energy value were calculated by equations 10-12.

Net return ($ ha-1)= gross return–Total input cost …(10)

Profit = Net return / Total input cost … (11)

Net specific energy ($MJ-1)=Total costs/Net energy ...(12)

Statistical analysis

The obtained research data was analyzed under ANOVA and multiple comparison test using SPSS-22 statistical software.

 

Results and Discussion

Wheat yield and fuel consumptions

Wheat yield harvested from different soil tillage treatments was presented in Table 5. The wheat yield (P <0.01) was significantly affected by various soil tillage practices. Highest wheat yield was found in conventional tillage (2,300 kgha-1) and the minimum wheat yield was observed in direct sowing system (1,930 kgha-1). The treatments RT-PT, CT-RT and PT-ZT showed no significant difference as given in Table 5 (Soomro et al., 2009).

Table 5 showed the fuel consumption and working time values in all the processes applied until the harvest in the treatments where soil tillage systems were applied. The sequence for fuel consumption in different tillage systems were found as CT> RT> PT> NT during both wheat seasons. Among the machines used, the M.B. plow was the implement with the highest fuel consumption. Compared to conventional tillage, average fuel consumption in RT, PT and NT systems were 46.95%, 47.04% and 77.88% during both wheat seasons, respectively (Table 6).

Energy analysis

Energy used for wheat production under different treatments was presented in Table 6. In this study, it was determined that the highest input share under all treatments was in fertilizer + manure energy and followed by seed, fuel + lubricating oil and machinery manufacturing energy. Soil cultivation systems were

 

Table 4: List of energy equivalents for input and outputs in wheat production.

Crop production parameters (units)

Enerfy equivalents (MJ unit-1)

Source

Human labor (h)

1.96

Muhammadi and Omid, 2010

Agricultural machinery (h)

62.7

Samavatean et al., 2010

Tractor (h)

158.3

Samavatean et al., 2010

Diesel fuel (I)

51.33

Samavatean et al., 2010

Chemical fertilizer (kg)

Nitrogenous

66.14

Erdal et al., 2007

Phosphorus (P2O5)

12.44

Erdal et al., 2007

Potassium (K2O)

11.15

Erdal et al., 2007

Farmyard manure (kg)

0.3

Esengun et al., 2007

Lubrication oil (I)

42.5

Samavatean et al., 2010

Pesticides (kg)

Herbicides

101.2

Ghiyasi et al., 2008

Insecticides

199

Gundogmus, 2006

Electricity (kWh)

3.6

Rafiee et al., 2010

Irrigation water (m3)

1.02

Samavatean et al., 2010

Seed+fungicides (kg)

17.6

Ghiyasi et al., 2008

Wheat grain (kg)

14.7

Yousefi et al., 2016

Straw (kg)

12.5

Yousefi et al., 2016

 

Table 5: Wheat yield and fuel consumption values in soil tillage systems.

Soil tillage Systems (Treatments)

Yield (kg ha-1)*

Fuel consumption (l ha-1)

Field Capacity (h ha-1)

Zero tillage system (ZT)

1 930 c

8.97

3.50

Conservational tillage system (PT)

2135 bc

21.50

5.00

Reduced tillage system (RT)

2 222 ab

22.73

4.90

Conventional tillage system (CT)

2300 a

40.56

5.76

* There is no statistical difference between the applications indicated by the same letter in the column.

 

Table 6: Total energy used under different soil treatments of wheat production (MJ ha-1).

Inputs and outputs

Soil tillage systems

ZT

PT

RT

CT

Human labor force

7.3

10.44

10.21

12.06

Machinery manufacturing

664.87

591.22

612.73

662.79

Fuel + Oil

483.45

1158.78

1225.06

2186.04

Fertilizer + manure

10477.95

10477.95

10477.95

10477.95

Seed

2200

2200

2200

2200

Total inputs

13833.5716

14438.38

14525.96

15538.842

Wheat

28,371.00

31,384.50

32,663.40

33,810.00

Straw

47375

55700

54300

46062.5

Total output

75,746.00

87,084.50

86,963.40

79,872.50

 

listed as CT >RT >PT >ZT in terms of total energy inputs. The input that makes a difference in the energy inputs of the tillage systems was fuel+lubricating oil, machinery manufacturing and manpower energy input. Fuel + lubricating oil energy input % of total energy input in the ZT system 3.49, while constituting 8.03%, 8.43% and 14.07% of the PT, RT and CT systems, respectively (Table 6). Similarly, the highest proportion as total energy input in wheat production were both fertilizer input and seed oil input and fuel oil energy input, respectively (Marakoglu and Carman, 2010). The percentage share of different energy input sources in wheat production under various tillage systems were shown in Figure 2.

 

Table 7: Energy analysis of tillage systems under wheat production.

Energy parameters

Soil processing systems

ZT

PT

RT

CT

Energy Ratio

5.48b

6.03a

5.99a

5.14b

Specific Energy (MJ kg-1)

7.17a

6.76a

6.54c

6.76b

Energy Efficiency (kg MJ-1)

0.14a

0.15a

0.15a

0.15a

Net Energy (MJ ha-1)

61912.43b

72646.12a

72437.44a

64333.66b

Energy Profitability

4.48b

5.03a

4.99a

4.14c

 

Table 8: Economic analysis of wheat production under ZT, RT and CT systems.

Cost and revenues

ZT

RT

PT

CT

Wheat yield (kg/ha)

1 930

2135.00

2 222

2300.00

Straw yield (kg/ha)

3790.00

4456.00

4344.00

3685.00

Sale price ($/1000 kg)

Wheat grain

240

240

240

240

Wheat straw

50

50

50

50

Net energy (MJ/ha)

61912.43

72646.12

72437.44

64333.66

Input costs ($/1000 kg)

Agricultural machinery and diesel

60.00

70.00

80.00

90.00

Fertilizer (manure + chemical)

45.00

45.00

45.00

45.00

Human labor

22.00

35.00

46.00

66.00

Pesticides

12.00

12.00

12.00

12.00

Water and electricity

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Seed + fungicides

13.00

13.00

13.00

13.00

Transportation

2.00

2.00

2.00

2.00

Total cost of production

154.00

177.00

198.00

228.00

Revenues ($/1000 kg)

Grain yield

250.00

250.00

250.00

250.00

Straw yield

50.00

50.00

50.00

50.00

Gross return

300.00

300.00

300.00

300.00

Net return

146.00

123.00

102.00

72.00

Profitability

0.95

0.69

0.52

0.32

Net energy value ($/MJ)

0.002

0.002

0.003

0.004

 

Ghorbani et al. (2011) calculated the total energy in wheat production under irrigated and rainfed conditions were 45,367 MJha-1 and 9,354 MJha-1, respectively. Yuan et al. (2018) measured the total input energies in wheat production were 18,392.10 MJ ha-1at flat sowing and 18,494.01 MJ ha-1 at ridge. In our study, when the energy output values were examined, the optimal output energy was gained from PT and RT systems while, the lowest energy output was obtained in the ZT system as in the efficiency values (Table 6). In order to express how efficiently the input sources were used in wheat production and how effectively it was transformed to output, soil tillage systems should be compared according to the energy parameters given in Table 8. The ANOVA results depicted a significant impact on the energy parameters of soil tillage systems statistically P <0.01 level. Multiple comparison test results and average values to see the difference between tillage systems (Table 7). The highest energy ratio was measured in PT (6.03) and RT (5.99) treatments while, the lowest energy ratio was in the CT treatment. Although the yield was the highest in the Conventional Tillage system, the high energy input has caused the energy rate to be lower than other systems. Although the efficiency was low in the NT application, the low energy input has also increased the rate. Ghorbani et al. (2011) determined the energy ratios was 3.38 and 1.44 in rainfed and irrigated wheat production, respectively.

 

 

Soil cultivation treatments were found in the sequence as PT> RT> ZT > CT in terms of energy ratio. To produce 1 kg wheat yield, the energy requirement was 6.54 MJ and 6.76 MJ in RT and CT treatments, whereas in PT and ZT systems 6.76 MJ and 7.17 MJ energy were required (Table 7). In the study of Marakoglu and Carman (2010) stated that the energy value 2.08 MJ in the flat sowing method, while it was 2.61 MJ in the back sowing method, and (Sial, 2005) 6.20 MJ.

According to the results of the study, 0.15 kg wheat was produced with 1 MJ energy in CT, RT and PT systems, and this value was determined as 0.14 kg in ZT systems. In addition, energy profitability was determined to be the lowest in the CT system (Table 7).

When the net energy values of the systems are examined; It was observed that the highest value was obtained with 64,333.66 MJha-1 in CT treatment while the lowest was obtained with 61,912.43 MJ ha-1 in the ZT system. According to multiple comparison test results; There were no statistically significant difference between PT and RT systems in energy parameters other than net energy gain. In terms of net energy gain, PT and RT systems were in the same group statistically. Considering the net energy gain, Conservational Tillage should be preferred in wheat agriculture in the region. However, considering the other energy parameters, the statistical results in the study area, in terms of energy use in rainfed agricultural conditions instead of conventional tillage, protective tillage or reduced tillage systems should be used. Chappell et al. (2011) in their study by considering the energy ratio of the recommendations and wheat and chickpea production has the highest energy rate recommended direct herbicide + planting application. Studies on the determination of energy efficiency in wheat agriculture (Tabatabaeefar et al., 2009; Ghorbani et al., 2011; Sial, 2005; Chappell et al., 2011; Marakoglu and Carman, 2010) energy parameters change according to factors such as climate, soil properties and applied methods. These results demonstrate the importance of identifying suitable management for crop production in different geographical areas and climatic zones for sustainable agricultural production.

Economic analysis

The experimental results of economic analysis of wheat production were presented in Table 8. The higher costs in wheat production were paid for Agricultural machinery and diesel fuel consumed, maximum in PT (40.40% of total cost), while the cost under wheat cultivation for fertilizer + manure (ranged 19.73-29.22% of total cost of production). Wheat production profitability with ZT, RT, PT and CT systems were 0.95, 0.69, 0.52 and 0.32 respectively. This indicated that more beneficial per unit cost in wheat production ZT system. Previous studies were reported profitability calculated as 1.10 in soyabean, 1,98 in mustard, 2.03 in wheat and 2.30 in chickpea, while 2.13 and 2.14 were obtained in apricot production under organic and inorganic treatments (Gundogmus, 2006). Similarly, wheat production with ZT, RT and PT systems were more profitable ratio to CT system (Muhammadi and Omid, 2010; Esengun et al., 2007; Ghiyasi et al., 2008), in ZT system was obtained 1.24, which was comparatively more beneficial than that of CT system. High cost of the tillage was the main reason in these tillage systems rather to NT system (Rafiee et al., 2010; Samavatean et al., 2010).

The cost spent for unit energy for different farming treatments of wheat production were calculated 0.002 $/MJ for ZT and RT systems while maximum was 0.004 $/MJ which revealed that optimal cost of 1 MJ of net energy in CT treatment compared to other treatments. Increasing crop yield and diminishing production cost will lead to enhance the wheat production. So, the production ration in all treatments is higher as compared to CT treatment. In this way we can maintain the crop productivity at a desired stage and remain sustainable by optimizing the energy consumption level.

 

Conclusions and Recommendations

This study evaluated four tillage treatments in wheat production under rainfed conditions to develop a sustainable wheat production practice. For this purpose; wheat yield, fuel consumption, energy and economic analysis were determined for each tillage system. The energy budget revealed Conventional tillage as expensive treatment while lowest input and output values were obtained from direct sowing system. Fertilizer, seed and fuel + oil had the highest share in total input energy. Energy ratio, specific energy, energy ratio and energy profitability according to the values of reduced soil tillage has been the best results. Besides; Since sowing, conservational/protective tillage and reduced tillage treatments showed no significant difference. It is concluded that these methods should be used in terms of efficient energy use instead of traditional method in wheat agriculture in the region.

 

Acknowledgement

The authors acknowledge the PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan for providing the research facilities. The authors are thankful and acknowledged the Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, China for their technical scientific support.

 

Novelty Statement

In this research study, we studied the impact of four soil tillage methods on wheat yield, fuel usage and energy use efficiency under rainfed agriculture systems. This study performed complete energy and economic budget in order to recommend a sustainable and economical practice for wheat sowing in rainfed agriculture system.

 

Author’s Contributions

Rana Shahzad Noor conceived the conceptualization of research study, design and development of the experiment, data collection, formal analysis, investigation, methodology, visualization, writing an original draft, reviewed, supervised and write-up editing. Fiaz Hussain contributed in data collection, formal analysis, investigation, methodology, visualization and writing an original draft. Irfan Abbas, Muhammad Umar Farooq and Abu Saad contributed in data collection and data formal analysis. Muhammad Umair contributed to perform formal analysis of this manuscript. Yong Sun supervised the entire research work. Prof. Dr. Yong Sun contributed as internal reviewer for the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflict of Interest.

Source of funding

This research received no external funding.

 

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