Carbon footprint and profitability of two apple cultivation training systems: Central axis and Fruiting wall

Elisabet Vinyes, Luis Asin, Simó Alegre, Carles M. Gasol, Pere Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier B.V. The study compares two apple training systems. Central axis and Fruiting wall, to provide useful environmental information to fruit producers, and also to detect the emission differences between them in terms of Carbon footprint. The data used in this study were directly collected from apple orchards located in Catalonia nine years of real agricultural data are available. The functional unit to performance the analysis is to produce 1 kg of apple fruit. According to results, in both systems, the Fertilization stage was identified as the main contributor to Carbon footprint (44%). The impact of the use of machinery and the infrastructure involved in orchard production are important factors to be taken into account when training systems are compared, because depending on the yield the emisisons per kg of fruit produced may increase. The Central axis system has Carbon footprint values of 0.207 KgCO2eq; and the Fruiting wall system, 0.195 KgCO2-eq. Thus, the Central axis system has 6% higher values. The economic results reveal that the Fruiting wall system is more profitable than the Central axis. This greater profitability is based on higher production and lower cost of pruning and hand thinning during the period of full production. Both factors compensate for the higher costs of planting and management in the early years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-239
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2018


  • Apple production
  • Carbon footprint
  • Fruit emissions
  • Life cycle assesment
  • Sustainable farming


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