Land labor and energy in Dutch agriculture

Last month Meino Smit published his PhD thesis: De Duurzaamheid van de Nederlandse Landbouw ( Sustainability of the Dutch Agriculture) . Smit analyzed the current way of working, with a lot of fossil fuels input and land degradation, and calculated the EROI, the effectivity, which has been decreasing since 1950. Next he analyses the possible improvements, taking into account all input, including secondary and third level impacts, like transport, buildings, production facilities, etc. From which he developed a new system with a net output, as well as a self regenerating way of agriculture. Sustainable agriculture and a net positive output, could only be restored, with a large increase in manual labor ( in stead of capital and energy) , stop heating greenhouses, and reduce production to inland demand ( due to land limits).


His study in fact provides the perfect analyses and data to make the final step towards the Maxergy and Embodied land approach, when all his data concerning energy and labor would also be translated into land demand. ( When time comes I might give it a try…) .

You can find his thesis ( in Dutch) here:

(In the picture graph: red line : input in GJ/ha, blue is output in GJ/ha, from 1950 until 2010)