Potato is the most popular non-grain food crop in the world, known for its high yield, water efficiency and nutritional value and consequently it can play a vital role in food security. Yet, the examination of the environmental impact associated with potato production represents a gap in the field of agricultural production. The purpose of this study is the evaluation of environmental burden of potato production in Cyprus, in order to propose mitigation measures. This study employs Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to analyze the environmental life cycle impacts of potato production in Cyprus by using a ‘cradle to farm gate’ perspective, for two crop seasons; Winter crop (August–February) and Spring crop (November–June). The impact categories investigated for this purpose were: i) Global Warming Potential, ii) Mineral Resource Scarcity, iii) Freshwater Ecotoxicity, iv) Freshwater Eutrophication, v) Terrestrial Acidification and vi) Terrestrial Ecotoxicity. According to the results, potato harvesting step was the main contributor in global warming, with spring crops exhibiting a substantially lower carbon footprint (147 kg CO2), representing a 40% reduction compared to winter crops (241 kg CO2). Notably, fuel combustion and machinery maintenance during harvesting and irrigation operations emerged as the primary factors contributing to Global Warming Potential, Terrestrial Acidification, and Terrestrial Ecotoxicity. Potassium application found to have a strong impact on mineral resource scarcity, accounting for 80.5% in spring crop. At the same time, the run-off of nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur trioxide into freshwater bodies, burden freshwater eutrophication by 2,19 kg P eq./ton and 2.89 kg P eq./ton for the spring and winter crop respectively. Effective planning and management of irrigation systems conserve water resources while disease monitoring and field observations minimize pesticide use. Further research on soil-to-atmosphere greenhouse gasses emissions is crucial, as is monitoring changes in soil organic carbon to increase the soil carbon sink.

Life cycle assessment of potato production in insular communities under subtropical climatic conditions

Vincenzo, Naddeo
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Potato is the most popular non-grain food crop in the world, known for its high yield, water efficiency and nutritional value and consequently it can play a vital role in food security. Yet, the examination of the environmental impact associated with potato production represents a gap in the field of agricultural production. The purpose of this study is the evaluation of environmental burden of potato production in Cyprus, in order to propose mitigation measures. This study employs Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to analyze the environmental life cycle impacts of potato production in Cyprus by using a ‘cradle to farm gate’ perspective, for two crop seasons; Winter crop (August–February) and Spring crop (November–June). The impact categories investigated for this purpose were: i) Global Warming Potential, ii) Mineral Resource Scarcity, iii) Freshwater Ecotoxicity, iv) Freshwater Eutrophication, v) Terrestrial Acidification and vi) Terrestrial Ecotoxicity. According to the results, potato harvesting step was the main contributor in global warming, with spring crops exhibiting a substantially lower carbon footprint (147 kg CO2), representing a 40% reduction compared to winter crops (241 kg CO2). Notably, fuel combustion and machinery maintenance during harvesting and irrigation operations emerged as the primary factors contributing to Global Warming Potential, Terrestrial Acidification, and Terrestrial Ecotoxicity. Potassium application found to have a strong impact on mineral resource scarcity, accounting for 80.5% in spring crop. At the same time, the run-off of nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur trioxide into freshwater bodies, burden freshwater eutrophication by 2,19 kg P eq./ton and 2.89 kg P eq./ton for the spring and winter crop respectively. Effective planning and management of irrigation systems conserve water resources while disease monitoring and field observations minimize pesticide use. Further research on soil-to-atmosphere greenhouse gasses emissions is crucial, as is monitoring changes in soil organic carbon to increase the soil carbon sink.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4833411
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