Getting the Most from Your Energy Dollar...
Farm Energy Audits
Using Energy Wisely on the Farm and Ranch
Thereís no avoiding this reality in farming: Energy is one of the more expensive components of raising crops and livestock. In fact in 2005 in Nebraska, agricultural expenditures rose 10 percent above 2004 costs according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture because of rising costs for fuel and fertilizer ó which is fossil fuel-based. An earlier USDA study found that nearly half the cost of production was for spent for energy.
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has released a new report entitled Farm Energy Audits: Availability, Usefulness, and Cost. The report analyzes the benefits and shortcomings of farm energy audits from a variety of perspectives, provides an in-depth analysis of farm energy efficiency programs, and makes recommendations for farms considering energy audits.
Web-based Energy Calculator Helps Farmers Save Energy
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has developed four Web-based energy calculators designed to estimate potential energy savings for farmers and ranchers in the areas of animal housing, irrigation, nitrogen, and tillage. These tools are designed to raise awareness of energy costs and provide ideas for cost savings; they do not provide comprehensive site-specific recommendations.
Farmers Improve Efficiency With Energy Self-Reliance Guide
A Farmerís Guide to Energy Self-Reliance: How to Decrease Energy Consumption and Increase Profits is a 24-page free publication published by the Institute for Energy and the Environment. The handbook presents a number of suggestions and ideas in three general areas: improving energy efficiency, using biomass and incorporating other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Items are arranged according to the cost of implementation.
Solar Resources for Farmers
Farmers, ranchers, and small business owners are more and more turning to solar power to help meet their energy needs. The Harvesting Clean Energy website offers a wealth of resources to help folks get started.
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