Economic and energy efficiency of growing cereal grasses

Modern Phytomorphology

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Research - Modern Phytomorphology ( 2021) Volume 15, Issue 5

Economic and energy efficiency of growing cereal grasses

U.M. Karbivska1, O.Yu. Turak1, Ya.Ya. Hryhoriv1, M.D. Voloshchuk1, N.Ya. Hetman7, H.M. Solovei6, A. ?. Dzyubailo5, H.Ya. Panakhyd4, H.S. Konyk4, A.V. Holodna3, I.M. Malinovskaya3, N.M. Asanishvili3, N.V. Kolodnenko2* and O.D. Turak1
1Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathians National University, 57 Shevchenko Street, Ivano-Frankivsk, 7601841, Ukraine
2Sumy National Agrarian University, Gerasim Kondratyev Str. 160, 40021, Sumy, Ukraine
3National Scientific Centre “Institute of Agriculture of the National Academy of Agrarian Scien, Mashynobudivnykiv Str. 2b, 08162, Chabany, Ukraine
4Institute of Agriculture of the Carpathian Region NAAS, 5 Hrushevskoho Street, p. Obroshino, Lviv region, 81115, Ukraine
5Drohobych State Pedagogical University named after Ivan Franko, Drohobych, Lviv region,82100, Ukraine
6National Scientific Agricultural Library of NAAS, 03127, Kyiv, Ukraine
7Vinnytsia National Agrarian University, street Sunny, 2, 21008, Vinnytsia, Ukraine
*Corresponding Author:
N.V. Kolodnenko, Sumy National Agrarian University, Gerasim Kondratyev Str. 160, 40021, Sumy, Ukraine, Email: [email protected]

Published: 17-Dec-2021, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7714993


Modern requirements of agriculture require new approaches to provide the region with high quality feed and develop new methods of their production. Therefore, solving the problem of providing animals with cheap complete grass fodder, the production of which is based on modern technologies, taking into account the existing trends of climate change, is undoubtedly relevant in this region. Economic and energy efficiency of growing cereal grasses depending on fertilization has been studied. On the basis of obtained results it has been found that cultivation of perennial grasses without application of mineral fertilizers under conditions of Precarpathians provides 5.9-7.8 thousand UAH/ha of net profit, 116%-139% the level of profitability, 2.1-2.3 thousand UAH - prime cost of 1 ton of fodder units, 2.8-3.7 BEC and 4.2-4.8 CEE, 2.1-3.3 GJ energy consumption per 1 ton of fodder units. Among the species of perennial grasses on all fertilizer backgrounds, on average for the first three years of using grasses the best indices of economic and energy efficiency were obtained when growing Lolium perenne, and the lowest Festuca rubra. Other studied species, namely Dactylis glomerate, Festuca orientalis, Bromus inermis, Phalaris arundinacea, and Phléum praténse occupied an intermediate place by these indices. Among fertilizer variants, the best indices of economic efficiency are provided by full application of mineral fertilizers in a dose of N90?60K60.


Cereal grasses, fertilization, profitability, energy efficiency, costs


In solving the problem of stopping decline and increasing production of livestock products, the leading role belongs to fodders. The largest share in the prime cost of livestock products belongs to fodder cost (Klymenko 2009; Karbivska et al. 2020; Karpenko et al. 2019). Meadow grasses provide the cheapest fodder, and hence the cheapest livestock products (Veklenko 2003; Scherner et al. 2016).

Among fodder crops grown in our area, perennial grasses play an important role. They are undemanding to living conditions. Thanks to a well-developed root system they absorb nutrients and soil moisture reserves more efficiently than other crops. Growing of perennial grasses in one place during several years does not require significant annual material and production costs related to soil preparation, sowing, application of pesticides. Due to relatively low cost and ability to give several mowings during the year, perennial grasses are the basis for uninterrupted fodder supply for animals in summer and significant reserve of high-quality cheap haylage and hay for cattle wintering (Hlushchenko 2008; Paz-Ferreiro 2016; Ates et al. 2017; Litvinov et al. 2020).

The main indicator of economic efficiency of meadow agrophytocenoses is the cost of their creation, which is significant, and is main part of all costs (Vyhovskyi 2013; Pukalo 2015).

One of the most important factors influencing efficiency of growing meadow grasses is mineral fertilization. Thus, with application of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers because of low yielding capacity of meadow grasses, the cost of production increases, and with application of complete mineral fertilizers increases the cost of growing a unit of production and decreases profitability. Irish scientists relate this fact to rapid rise of prices for mineral fertilizers and relative rise of prices for agricultural products (Schellberg et al. 1999; Konyk 2016; Demydas et al. 2021).

In recent years, in the world practice, along with traditional methods of assessing crop production efficiency using monetary and labor indices, becomes more and more important the method of energy assessment, which takes into account both amount of energy spent on agricultural production and amount of energy accumulated in it. Energy assessment makes it possible to compare different technologies of agricultural production in terms of energy consumption, determine the structure of energy flows in agrocenoses and identify main reserves of saving technical energy in agriculture. Determination of both consumed and received energy makes it possible to quantify energy efficiency of growing fodder crops (Tatariko et al. 2005; Hetman et al. 2014; Karbivska et al. 2020).

Energy analysis of technologies in fodder production and meadow cultivation is important, as the energy contained in fodders has two functions: ensuring livelihood of animals and production of livestock products. This analysis makes it possible to determine not only recoupment of energy costs for production of certain types of grass fodders, but also to define energy intensity of fodder unit. Recently, because of price rise for non-renewable energy sources, in Ukraine there appeared a tendency to wider implementation of energy and resource-saving technologies, non-traditional and constantly renewable energy sources which reduce energy consumption for production of certain types of fodders (Konyk 2016; Karbivska et al. 2020; Kvitko et al. 2021; Tonkha et al. 2021).

It is known that in meadow cultivation energy assessment of technologies is conducted by recoupment of total energy costs by output of gross or exchange energy from 1 ha in GJ, which, according to Kurgak (2010), during improvement of natural fodder lands of Polissia ranged within 3.0-6.0 and 1.5-3.0.

In recent years, due to significant price rise of energy, fertilizers and fuels, has risen the cost of fertilization, mowing use and fodder production in general. An important factor in reducing fodder cost price is the use of perennial grasses, which are cheap source of fodder (Voloshyn 2018; Litvinov et al. 2019; Ryan 2017; Hryhoriv et al. 2021). It should be noted that the economic and energy efficiency of growing cereals on sod-podzolic soil has not been studied enough. This emphasizes the relevance of research and the need to substantiate these processes in the Carpathians of Ukraine. Therefore, these issues were the purpose of research, the results of which are presented in this article.

Materials and Methods

The research was conducted at the stationary experimental field of Agrochemistry and Soil Science Department, laid in 2011 according to generally accepted methodology. The soil cover of experimental field is represented by sod-podzolic surface-clayed soil.

Repetition-three times, accounting area of experimental plot-25 m2. Zonal and promising varieties of cereal grasses were sown: Phléum praténse-Carpathian, Lolium perenne-Kolomyiskaa, Festuca orientalis-Menchulska, Dactylis glomerate-Stanislavska, Festuca rubra-Hoverla, Phalaris arundinacea-Smerichka.

Interaction of two factors was studied in the experiment (Tab. 1): A–grass species by level of ripeness; B-fertilization: without fertilizers, Р60K60, N90Р60K60, where mineral fertilizers were used: ammonium nitrate (34% a.s.); potassium and magnesium sulphate (29% a.s.); superphosphate (19% a.s.).

Factor A-grass species by level of ripeness Factor B-Fertilization
1. Phléum praténse Without fertilizers
2. Lolium perenne
3. Festuca orientalis Р60K60
4. Bromus inermis
5. Dactylis glomerate
6. Festuca rubra N90Р60K60
7. Phalaris arundinacea

Table 1. The scheme of the experiment.

Evaluation of weather conditions in research years was carried out on the basis of meteorological data obtained at Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Center for Hydrometeorology. During vegetation period of 2011, precipitation was by 13.1 mm smaller than the norm, while average daily air temperature decreased by 4.5°C compared to long-term average indices, 2012 was characterized by increased temperature regime, with average daily air temperature by +1.5°C exceeding long-term norm, and insufficient precipitation, when precipitation was by 23.7% smaller than the norm.

Weather conditions of 2013 differed from average long-term data, but they were quite favorable for the formation of cereal grass agrophytocenosis. The growth and development of plants was satisfactory.

Economic evaluation of perennial grass growing technologies, with taking into consideration the studied elements, was performed according to evaluation methodology of scientific research efficiency using technological maps with prices of 2020, energy evaluation-according to the method of Medvedovsky and Ivanenko (Medvedovskyi 1988).


In the process of growing these types of perennial grasses in single-species sowings in the variant without fertilizers, the net profit and profitability level ranged from 5112 UAH/ha-5593 UAH/ha (hryvnia per hectare) and 116%-139%, respectively, with the lowest prime cost of 1 ton of fodder units (2095-2313 UAH) and mainly with the lowest prime cost of 1 ton of crude protein (UAH 13317–15491) (Tab. 2).

Grass species and norms of seed sowing, kg/ha Fertilization Gross
production, UAH/ha
Costs, UAH/ha Net profit, UAH/ha Profitability,
Prime cost 1 t, UAH
Crude protein
Early-ripening grasses
Dactylis glomerate, 16 without fertilizers (control) 11800 5242 6558 125 2221 14168
 P60K60 12300 9503 2797 29 3863 24367
N90P60K60 22100 12903 9197 71 2919 13441
Middle-ripening grasses
Festuca orientalis, 26 without fertilizers (control) 12150 5350 6800 127 2202 14459
P60K60 12650 9630 3020 31 3806 24692
N90P60K60 23100 13030 10070 77 2820 13296
Lolium perenne, 26 without fertilizers (control) 13350 5593 7757 139 2095 13317
P60K60 13950 10030 3920 39 3595 22289
N90P60K60 24100 13430 10670 79 2786 12913
Bromus inermis, 26 without fertilizers (control) 12350 5395 6955 129 2184 14197
P60K60 13050 9733 3317 34 3729 24333
N90P60K60 22450 13133 9317 71 2925 13971
Festuca rubra, 18 without fertilizers (control) 11050 5112 5938 116 2313 15491
P60K60 11750 9373 2377 25 3989 26036
N90P60K60 19300 12773 6527 51 3309 16168
Phalaris arundinacea, 14 without fertilizers (control) 12050 5330 6720 126 2221 14806
P60K60 12500 9780 2720 28 3912 25737
N90P60K60 21600 13180 8420 63 3051 14326
Late-ripening grasses
Phléum praténse, 14 without fertilizers (control) 11950 5302 6648 125 2218 14330
P60K60 12500 9590 2910 30 3791 24590
N90P60K60 21600 12990 8700 67 3272 15841

Table 2. Economic efficiency of growing cereal grasses depending on fertilizers on sod-podzolic soil, average for 2011-2013.

The lowest indices of economic efficiency were on the background of P60K60, with net profit of 2377 UAH/ha-3920 UAH/ha and profitability of 25%-39%, which is less by 2.0-2.4 and 3.6-4.6 times respectively than in the control and with prime cost of 1 tons of fodder units and crude protein respectively 3595 UAH-3989 UAH and 22289 UAH-26036 UAH, which is by 1.7 times more compared to the variant without fertilizers. The highest net profit per 1 ha for growing all species of cereal grasses was with addition of nitrogen in a dose of N90 to P60K60 and reached 6527 UAH–10670 UAH.

The level of profitability and prime cost of 1 ton of fodder units in this case occupied an intermediate place between the variant without fertilizers and the variant withe application of P60K60, and prime cost of 1 ton of crude protein was equal to the variant without fertilizer.

While growing perennial grasses in single-species sowings, the highest indices of energy efficiency were obtained in the variant without fertilizers. In particular, total energy consumption both per 1 ha and per 1 ton of fodder units was the lowest and ranged between 12.8 GJ-13.5 GJ and 5.06 GJ-5.79 GJ, respectively, and recoupment of energy consumption by the outcome of BЕC (Bioenergy Coefficient) and CЕЕ (Energy Efficiency Coefficient) exchange and gross energy as BEC and KEE from 1 ha was the largest with indices 2.0-2.3 and 4.2-4.8, respectively (Tab. 3).

Grass species and sowing rates, kg/ha Fertilization Energy consumption,
CEE BEC Energy consumption per 1 t of fodder units, GJ
Early-ripening grasses
Dactylis glomerate, 16 without fertilizers (control) 13.0 4.4 2.1 5.51
P60K60 18.4 3.2 1.5 7.48
N90P60K60 27.6 3.8 1.8 6.24
Middle-ripening grasses
Festuca orientalis, 26 without fertilizers (control) 13.1 4.4 2.1 5.39
P60K60 18.6 3.4 1.6 7.35
N90P60K60 28.1 4.0 1.9 6.08
Lolium perenne, 26 without fertilizers (control) 13.5 4.8 2.3 5.06
P60K60 19.4 3.4 1.6 6.95
N90P60K60 29.0 4.0 1.9 6.02
Bromus inermis, 26 without fertilizers (control) 13.2 4.6 2.2 5.34
P60K60 18.9 3.4 1.6 7.24
N90P60K60 28.1 3.8 1.8 6.26
Festuca rubra, 18 without fertilizers (control) 12.8 4.2 2.0 5.79
P60K60 18.1 3.2 1.5 7.70
N90P60K60 26.6 3.6 1.7 6.89
Phalaris arundinacea, 14 without fertilizers (control) 13.1 4.4 2.1 5.44
P60K60 18.6 3.4 1.6 7.44
N90P60K60 27.8 3.8 1.8 6.44
Late-ripening grasses
Phléum praténse, 14 without fertilizers (control) 13.1 4.4 2.1 5.48
P60K60 18.6 3.4 1.6 7.35
N90P60K60 27.2 3.6 1.7 6.85

Table 3. Energy efficiency of growing perennial cereal grasses under conditions of different fertilization, average for 2011-2013.

Among the variants of fertilization, the lowest indices of energy efficiency were observed on the background of P60K60 with recoupment of energy consumption for BЕC and CЕЕ respectively 1.5-1.6 and 3.2-3.4, which is by 1.3-1.4 times less than in the control, and with total energy consumption per 1 ton of fodder units 6.95 GJ-7.70 GJ, which is 1.3-1.4 times more than in the variant without fertilizers. Among the species of perennial grasses on all fertilizer backgrounds, on average for the first three years of grassland use, the best indices of energy efficiency were obtained when growing Lolium perenne, and the worst when growing Festuca rubra.

Other studied species, namely Dactylis glomerate, Festuca orientalis, Bromus inermis, Phalaris arundinacea, Phléum pratén, occupied intermediate place in terms of energy efficiency.


In growing perennial cereal grasses, among the nutrients of fertilizers, nitrogen is the most effective one. Comparing the variants without nitrogen and the variants with application of N90, the net profit increased from 538 UAH/ha to 3270 UAH/ha, profitability from 26% to 46%, BEC from 0.2 to 0.6 and CЕЕ from 0.1 to 0.2. On average for the first three years of grassland use when growing on sod-podzolic soil, the best indices of economic and energy efficiency are provided by Lolium perenne, and the worst-Festuca rubra.


The results obtained in this study provide valuable information on the economic and energy efficiency of growing cereals. However, further research is needed to verify the results of the study and further improve the technology of cultivation, reduce the cost of fertilizers, as well as increase the productivity of agrophytocenoses. This should help increase the economic and energy efficiency of cereals in the future.


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