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Study The Effects of Conventional and Low Input Production System on Energy Efficiency of Silybum marianum L.

Authors: M. Haj Seyed Hadi, M. Darzi, E. Sharifi Ashoorabadi


Medicinal plants are most suitable crops for ecological production systems because of their role in human health and the aim of sustainable agriculture to improve ecosystem efficiency and its products quality. Calculations include energy output (contents of energy in seed) and energy inputs (consumption of fertilizers, pesticides, labor, machines, fuel and electricity). The ratio of output of the production to inputs is called the energy outputs / inputs ratio or energy efficiency. One way to quantify essential parts of agricultural development is the energy flow method. The output / input energy ratio is proposed as the most comprehensive single factor in pursuing the objective of sustainability. Sylibum marianum L. is one of the most important medicinal plants in Iran and has effective role on health of growing population in Iran. The objective of this investigation was to find out energy efficiency in conventional and low input production system of Milk thistle. This investigation was carried out in the spring of 2005 – 2007 in the Research Station of Rangelands in Hamand - Damavand region of IRAN. This experiment was done in split-split plot based on randomized complete block design with 3 replications. Treatments were 2 production systems (Conventional and Low input system) in the main plots, 3 planting time (25 of March, 4 and 14 of April) in the sub plots and 2 seed types (Improved and Native of Khoozestan) in the sub-sub plots. Results showed that in conventional production system energy efficiency, because of higher inputs and less seed yield, was less than low input production system. Seed yield was 1199.5 and 1888 kg/ha in conventional and low input systems, respectively. Total energy inputs and out puts for conventional system was 10068544.5 and 7060515.9 kcal. These amounts for low input system were 9533885.6 and 11113191.8 kcal. Results showed that energy efficiency for seed production in conventional and low input system was 0.7 and 1.16, respectively. So, milk thistle seed production in low input system has 39.6 percent higher energy efficiency than conventional production system. Also, higher energy efficiency were found in sooner planting time (25 of March) and native seed of Khoozestan.

Keywords: Production System, Energy Efficiency, milk thistle

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