Getting the Most from Your Energy Dollar...
There’s no avoiding this reality in farming: Direct energy accounts for five to seven percent of farm expenditures; indirect energy accounts for nine to ten percent. Because small farms operate on profit margins well under ten percent, efficiency measures that reduce energy costs can make a real impact.
Farm Energy Saving Calculator Links
Best Management Calculators
The following websites offer online tools that can be used to make high-level efficiency, cost savings, and GHG emissions reduction calculations. While these calculators do not offer the level of detail recommended for project implementation, they will give a general sense of the size of opportunity linked to a best management practice for your operations.
Farm Energy Calculators: Evaluations and Recommendations
This 2009 NCAT report evaluates over 30 farm energy decision-making tools, including comments from farmer-reviewers, and includes a dozen recommendations for making these tools more useful.
Fertilizer Calculator, Oregon State University
Synthetic fertilizer is the largest indirect energy cost on most farms. This updated, organic fertilizer calculator will help you choose soil amendments based on cost effectiveness and soil and crop requirements. There are commercial and small farm Microsoft Excel calculators and instructions. Note that there are several worksheets within the calculator.
Martindale's Calculators Online Center: Agriculture
A large collection of on-line calculators and design tools, including many with relevance to farm energy usage.
USDA-NRCS Energy Estimator: Animal Housing
This tool is designed to enable you to estimate potential energy savings associated with swine, poultry or dairy cow housing operations on your farm or ranch. The tool evaluates major energy costs in lighting, ventilation and heating costs for swine and poultry, as well as major energy costs for lighting, air circulation, milk cooling, water heating and milk harvesting for a typical dairy.
USDA-NRCS Energy Estimator: Irrigation
This tool enables you to estimate energy cost of pumping water in the irrigation operations on your farm or ranch. NRCS technical specialists developed this model to integrate general technical information on farm-specific crops, energy prices, and pumping requirements.
USDA-NRCS Energy Estimator: Nitrogen
This Natural Resources Conservation Service energy consumption tool enables you to calculate the cost of nitrogen product use on your farm or ranch by evaluating options based on user input.
USDA-NRCS Energy Estimator: Tillage
The tool developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service estimates diesel fuel use and costs in the production of key crops in your area and compares potential energy savings between conventional tillage and alternative tillage systems.
USDA-NRCS Energy Self Assessment Tools
A wide variety of tools to help farmers and ranchers conserve energy and explore renewable energy options. The energy conservation tools include dairy, grain drying, irrigation, potato storage, greenhouses, lighting, livestock, water fountains and ventilation. Renewable energy tools are provided for solar water heating, solar electric (photovoltaic), wind turbines, biomass, and biogas.