Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Winter Wheat Farms Using Data Envelopment Analysis Approach
Alina Syp1, Antoni Faber1, Magdalena Borzęcka-Walker1, Dariusz Osuch2
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1Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – State Research Institute,
Department of Agrometorology and Applied Informatics, Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Puławy, Poland
2Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics – National Research Institute,
Agricultural Accountancy Department, Świętokrzyska 20, 00-002 Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2015-04-14
Acceptance date: 2015-06-10
Publication date: 2015-09-21
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2015;24(5):2197–2203
Data envelopment analysis (DEA) has been recognized as a suitable tool for efficiency assessment of the economic and environmental performance of multiple similar units in the agri-food sector. In the present study, DEA methodologies were applied to 55 winter wheat farms in three farm sizes in Poland to benchmark the level of operational efficiency for each producer. Next, the potential reduction in the consumption levels of inputs were defined, and the environmental profits linked to these reduction targets were calculating. Our results indicate that 55% of the analysed farms operated efficiently. The technical efficiency scores of inefficient farms were 0.72 for small farms and 0.84 for medium and large ones. The production of 1 kg winter wheat results with average greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 0.448, 0.481, and 0.411 kg CO2 eq. per kg of grain, for small, medium, and large farms, respectively. The performed analysis shows that GHG emissions per hectare depend on farm size and ranged from 2,378 kg CO2 eq. for the small farms to 2,759 kg CO2 eq. for large farms. The reduction of material input in inefficient farms, converted into environmental gains, resulted in GHG emissions reduction of 25.7, 29.0, and 28.6% for small, medium, and large farms, respectively. The estimated potential reduction of global warming potential (GWP) according to the DEA for the whole sample ranged from 7 to 18%, and was dependent on farm size. The major contributor to GWP was nitrous oxide field emissions (49-52%), followed by nitrogen fertilizer (31-33%), and diesel (11-13%). Raising operational efficiency is recommended for potential environmental improvement in the surveyed region.