Energy Inputs for Cantaloupe Production in San Joaquin Valley, California


  • Athanasios Alexandrou California State University - Fresno
  • Panagiotis Vyrlas Technological Educational Institute of Larisa
  • Diganta Adhikari California State University - Fresno
  • Dave Goorahoo California State University - Fresno


Concerns of consumers have increased the pressure on companies to become more responsible toward the environment. Wal-mart for example is pilot studying the possibility of introducing an ‘energy’ label on their products. This paper studies the energy inputs on cantaloupe production in San Joaquin Valley (SJV), California. To estimate the energy required to produce a kilogram of cantaloupe information was collected on the operations and various inputs such as fertilizer and irrigation used by farmers in the cantaloupe capital of the world. The energy required to manufacture fertilizers and pesticides, to produce and use the farm machinery and energy consumed during irrigation was calculated using appropriate energy equivalents from the literature. The total energy input was calculated to be 910kJ kg-1 or 35.3 MJ ha-1. Fertilizer is the major energy input followed by irrigation and fuel. This number is relatively lower than estimates in the previous available data from 1980, and may be indicative of the adoption  and advancement in drip irrigation techniques used by many growers in the SJV,  and the improvement in cantaloupe cultivars better suited for the region.

Author Biographies

Athanasios Alexandrou, California State University - Fresno

Dept. of Plant Science, M/S AS72, Fresno, CA

Associate Professor

Panagiotis Vyrlas, Technological Educational Institute of Larisa

Department of Farm Machinery and Irrigation


Diganta Adhikari, California State University - Fresno

Fresno, Center for Irrigation Technology

Dave Goorahoo, California State University - Fresno

Dept. of Plant Science, M/S AS72, Fresno, CA

Assistant Professor






IV-Energy in Agriculture