- Author: Chris M. Webb
The USDA has a collection of tools designed to help farmers and ranchers identify areas in their operations in which they can save energy, and in turn money. For non-food producers, the site provides a small glimpse into the complex business of farming and ranching, highlighting a few of the powerful economic impacts and potential risks of those in the business.
Information and suggestions are divided into the following categories:
- The Energy Estimator for Animal Housing tool covers energy use in lighting, ventilation, heating, air circulation, milk cooling, water heating, and milk harvesting.
- The Energy Estimator for Irrigation allows users to estimate potential energy savings associated with pumping water for irrigation. The site provides information for farm-specific crops, pumping requirements and energy prices.
- The Energy Estimator for Nitrogen tool enables calculations related to nitrogen use on your farm or ranch.
- The Energy Estimator for Tillage tool estimates diesel fuel use and costs and compares potential energy savings between conventional tillage and alternative tillage systems. The crops covered are limited to the most predominant crops in 74 Crop Management Zones (CMZ's), allowing users to get an idea of the potential savings.