Intensification of agriculture

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Bioenergy > Issues > Agriculture > Intensification of agriculture

The intensification of agriculture consists in increasing the yield of harvested material per hectare of land used. The yield can be considered through the amount of main products and by-products but also through the amount of energy that can be obtained per hectare, which may show different trends.

Currently, the intensification of agriculture allows to reduce the needs in land to produce a certain amount of energy, but the necessary amount of water and fertilisers, which prove to be high consumers of fossil energy during production, makes each unit of energy obtained more damaging to the environment.

Hence, tradeoffs exist between the possibility for a crop to supply more energy per hectare, which could help saving protected areas such as forests, and the consequent risk of increasing water depletion and greenhouse gas emissions.

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