Authors:Adnan Eser, Hajnalka Kató, Laura Kempf, and Márton Jolánkai
Water availability is one of the major physiological factors influencing plant growth and development. An assessment study has been done at the Szent István University, Gödöllő to evaluate and identify the water footprint of protein yield of field crop species. Twelve field crop species (Sugar beet Beta vulgaris, spring and winter barley Hordeum vulgare, winter wheat Triticum aestivum, maize Zea mays, sunflower Helianthus annuus, peas Pisum sativum, potato Solanum tuberosum, alfalfa Medicago sativa, oilseed rape Brassica napus, rye Secale cereale and oats Avena sativa) were involved in the study. Evapotranspiration patterns of the crops studied have been identified by the regular agroclimatology methodology and physiologically reliable protein ranges within crop yields were evaluated.
The results obtained suggest, that water footprint of cereals proved to be the lowest, however maize values were highly affected by the high variability of protein yield. Oilseed crops had considerably high protein yield with medium water efficiency. Alfalfa, potato and sugar beet water footprints were in accordance with their evapotranspiration patterns.
Protein based water footprint assessment seems to be more applicable in crop species evaluations than that of yield based methodologies.