Multicriteria Analysis of the Effects of Field Burning Crop Residues
AbstractBurning crop residues is frequently used by Romanian land users to clean agricultural fields after crop harvest for ease in post-harvest soil tillage. Huge amounts of crop residues biomass, on very large areas, were burned in Romania in the last twenty years, as compared to other countries. There are several reasons (e.g. the lack of equipment to gather the crop residues and to transport and store them, the diminishing of the livestock after 1990, the absence of other alternatives, especially in the 1990s, but also the lack of information regarding the good practices) that are advocated to support the use of this method. However, this method is not a sustainable one since it can cause many environmental damages, especially related to soil properties (physical, chemical and biological), greenhouse gas emission and crop yields. Contrary to the above stated, crop residues' addition to the soil may restore damaged soil structure, improve aggregate stability, soil water retention, soil fertility, increase total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) etc. The purpose of this paper is to make a multicriteria analyze of the effects of crop residue management on the soil, agricultural productivity and environment. At the same time, the use of crop residues biomass as a source of energy is presented as an alternative, given its potential ability to offset fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions.
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