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Module Author, Zane R.

Agriculture and Energy Consumption

In the s, Dr Helsel evaluated yield and direct combustion energy potential of 12 different potential biomass energy crops in Iowa. In the years following he authored numerous publications on the conservation of energy on the farm, emphasizing those in fuel use for equipment and reducing energy in pest control and nutrient use.

In Florida, he has conducted research on production and energy potential of sweet sorghum, tropical corn, switchgrass, and tall growing perennial grass crops sugar and energycanes, elephantgrass, Arundo donax, etc for direct combustion and conversion to ethanol.

He has also worked with Dr Jose Alvarez on the development of budgets for the production of sugarcane, energycane, sweet sorghum and switchgrass for ethanol production. Usually, an ECM should not be considered if it reduces the performance of the farm - unless the savings in energy is so great that the reduction in performance is "worth it" in the long run.

Energy and food together: Under solar panels, crops thrive

Figuring out this trade-off is not a simple matter, and involves both economic analysis and using your best judgment. Reducing energy use is not the only way to save on your energy bill and make your farm more profitable. There are several related strategies that involve changing the way that you use energy, that could also yield savings - including Demand Management and Renewable Generation.

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  • Energy Efficiency on the Farm;

Demand Management is the method of controlling when in the day you use your electricity, in order to reduce costs. Some farms usually larger ones pay a charge for the maximum rate at which electricity is used the kW demand. All farms may soon be required to pay for "real time pricing" of electricity that varies the cost over the course of the day.

In either situation, it is possible for farmers to adjust their operating schedule to reduce their electricity charge.


The other major related issue to energy efficiency is the opportunity for farmers to produce renewable energy on the farm, thus reducing the amount they have to purchase from off the farm. One popular option in Pennsylvania is the production of biogas from animal manure. More information is available on Penn State's Biogas website. Another possibility is to grow energy crops. Thank you for your submission!

Scientific Publications

Home Energy Efficiency on the Farm. Energy Efficiency on the Farm. We use energy to heat, cool, plant, harvest, clean, and perform a wide variety of tasks.

Factorio Tutorials: Solar Panel Array

However, the price of energy can sometimes be a real obstacle to keeping a farm profitable. The First Step: Analyze The most important step in improving a farm's energy efficiency is to understand the current energy use on the farm. What are the Possibilities? Sorting out the Options The most common way to compare ECMs is to calculate their "simple payback" - the number of years that it takes for the savings of an ECM to cover the cost of installing the measure.

An overview of the FEAT model

Saving Money Without Saving Energy Reducing energy use is not the only way to save on your energy bill and make your farm more profitable. Daniel Ciolkosz, P. Why do we need this? Entering your postal code will help us provide news or event updates for your area.