HL Deb 28 February 1980 vol 405 c1674WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What, over the last 30 years, has been the relation of energy consumption to yields British agriculture.


Energy use in agriculture cannot readily be related to individual commodities and, like agricultural yields, varies from year to year for a number of reasons including differences in weather. Direct energy use increased by about 22 per cent. from the early 1950s to the average level of 1974–1978, while the volume of agricultural output, as measured by estimates of gross output at constant prices, is estimated to have risen by some 69 per cent. over the same period. Since its peak in 1973, however, direct energy use in agriculture has declined and the use of petroleum fuels, the major direct energy source, has fallen from 510 million gallons in 1973 to about 430 million gallons in 1979. Direct energy use is estimated to account for about 34 per cent. of total primary energy usage in agriculture.