Energy production and use in Dutch agriculture

W.A. Dekkers, J.M. Lange, C.T. de Wit

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Energy relationschips in the agriculture of one of the most densely populated areas of the world, the Nether lands, are described. The Netherlands appear selfsupporting in food energy. However, if one takes account of energy consumption in horticulture, the direct and indirect fossil energy cost exceeds the food energy produced in agriculture. An input-output analysis to estimate the indirect energy is applied on Japanese data. It appears that in Japanese agriculture for every unit energy used directly, two units are used indirectly. Energy relationships are different for the main agricultural sectors. In the primary production sector more energy is produced than consumed (9 : 1), while in the secondary production sector and in the horticulture the oppositie holds (1 : 7). The energy input of the secondary production sector, however, is mainly of plant origin. Energy balances of an arable farm at present and around 1800 are given to show in more detail in which way food energy is and was produced. Possible ways to diminish the fossil energy input of the modern farm are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107-118
    JournalNetherlands Journal of Agricultural Science
    Publication statusPublished - 1974


    • agriculture
    • efficiency
    • energy
    • energy consumption
    • fuel consumption
    • netherlands


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