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EnergyFarm: Web Application to Compare Crop Systems Under Technical, Economic and Energy Aspects

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21921)
Authors:   Remigio Berruto, Patrizia Busato
Keywords:   Energy balance, Web application, Economic evaluation, Farm management

The crop cultivation sector, in Italy and EU has a relevant importance on agriculture revenues and faces new and rapidly changing EU policies and contribution that are challenging the farmers.

In this context is very important to have an application to refer in order to compare the cultivation systems, by the economic and energy point of view. The proposed application, EnergyFarm (, Italian version,, English version) allow the user, in anonymous way, to compute its own crop cultivation costs, including the use of machinery, manpower, and production factors such are fertilizers, chemicals, and so on.

Particularly, the web-based application, developed with ASP and ASP.NET technology, allow the user to compare different farming systems. The user could set-up one scenario that represent the whole farm, with all the crops and surfaces, insert his equipment and operations carried out for the crop cultivation. After the farm scenario has been completed, the application computes the results, in term of: - Cost of equipment use and fuel consumption
- Cost of use of fertilizers, herbicides, and so on
- Other cost, including extra-farm costs (e.g. contractors, irrigation costs, lease of land and so on)
- Sales of product (corn grain, wheat, straw, etc.)
- Net income for the crop
- Energy balance for each crop

The web application also allows the customer to compare different farm scenarios.

EnergyFarm was released in January 2006, within the project PROBIO, related to the use of the corn as fuel for the production of energy from renewable sources. EnergyFarm is the tool used for doing the technical-economic and energy calculations related to the cultivation of corn as a fuel. The paper will present the application and its use on two cropping systems for corn in Italy.

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