event 09 Aug 2022

Research Article // Environmental assessment of vegetable crops towards the water-energy-food nexus: A combination of precision agriculture and life cycle assessment

By Adriana Del Borghi and colleagues. This study carried out an analysis of the agri-food sector in order to improve the water-energy-food nexus performance of four preserved vegetables products (beans, peas, sweet corn, tomato) through a combination of Precision Agriculture (PA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). PA strategies were identified and a full LCA was performed on actual and future scenarios for all crops in order to evaluate the benefits of a potential combination of these two tools.

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Graphical Abstract (Del Borghi et al., 2022)

Abstract

The increase in world population and the resulting demand for food, water and energy are exerting increasing pressure on soil, water resources and ecosystems. Identification of tools to minimise the related environmental impacts within the food–energy–water nexus is, therefore, crucial. The purpose of the study is to carry out an analysis of the agri-food sector in order to improve the energy-environmental performance of four vegetable crops (beans, peas, sweet corn, tomato) through a combination of precision agriculture (PA) and life cycle assessment (LCA). Thus, PA strategies were identified and a full LCA was performed on actual and future scenarios for all crops in order to evaluate the benefits of a potential combination of these two tools. In the case study analysed, a life cycle approach was able to target water consumption as a key parameter for the reduced water availability of future climate scenarios and to set a multi-objective function combining also such environmental aspects to the original goal of yield maximisation. As a result, the combination of PA with the LCA perspective potentially allowed the path for an optimal trade-off of all the parameters involved and an overall reduction of the expected environmental impacts in future climate scenarios.

Published

June 2022

By

Ecological Indicators | Journal | ScienceDirect.com by Elsevier

Citation

Del Borghi, A., Tacchino, V., Moreschi, L., Matarazzo, A., Gallo, M., & Vazquez, D. A. (2022). Environmental assessment of vegetable crops towards the water-energy-food nexus: A combination of precision agriculture and life cycle assessment. Ecological Indicators, 140, 109015.

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Environmental assessment of vegetable crops towards the water-energy-food nexus: A combination of precision agriculture and life cycle assessment

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