A comprehensive and detailed energy consumption inventory of crop production is of considerable significance to agricultural management because of the great changes in agricultural mechanization. In this study, a cost-input method was used to calculate the energy consumption of seven major crops in China from 2012 to 2018. Ten energy consumption phases of crop production were considered, including tilling, sowing, field management, harvesting, and treatment. The energy consumption of major crops in China increased by 25% over this time period, with indirect energy consumption accounting for a large proportion of the total, and direct energy consumption increasing rapidly. Of the grain crops, corn consumed the most energy in 2018, followed by rice and wheat. Among the oil crops, the total energy consumption of peanut was greater than that of rapeseed. There were differences in the energy consumption phases of crops per hectare and per unit yield. Considering the total energy consumption structure in 2018, the consumption of compound fertilizer was the highest, followed by nitrogen fertilizer use, mechanical tilling, mechanical harvesting, and mechanical sowing. The crops studied showed different life cycle energy consumption structures. Agricultural machinery operation was the prominent contributor to energy consumption for soybean and rice production, while chemical fertilizer was the primary contributor for cotton production; both contributed to the energy consumption for other crops.
Keywords Life cycle energy consumption, Agricultural machinery operation, Cost-input method