New Resources on Farm Energy Efficiency
Direct energy use accounts for between 5 and 7 percent of farm expenditures. In terms of electricity used, Minnesota dairies show the largest energy costs, followed by corn growers (for grain drying especially), swine, soybeans, and other agricultural crops. According to Barry Ryan and Douglas G. Tiffany, “dairy farmers used 376 million kWh of electricity, or 600 kWh per year for a typical cow producing 15,000 pounds of milk annually.” For dairy farmers, electricity is the single biggest energy cost.
The Minnesota Project’s work on farm energy efficiency aims to highlight ways that farmers can save energy by becoming more energy efficient, and thus save money. As such, I’d like to draw your attention to a number of new resources on The Minnesota Project’s website.
First, we’ve created several case studies of Minnesota diary farmers who have taken steps to make their farms more energy efficient. Each PDF shares the story of a dairy farmer and offers the experience as an example that other dairy farmers can learn from, as well as to help the general public understand the dairy industry better. The stories are found on our website under Farm Energy Efficiency, but you can also download and read them each here:
- Pat Lunemann of Twin Eagle Dairy
- Joe Borgerding of Borgerding Dairy
- Sadie and Glen Frericks of Blue Diamond Dairy
Second, through working with projector partner Clean Energy Ambassadors, we are proud to announce the creation of a new webpage specifically to help Minnesota dairy farmers quickly identify ways that they can save energy along with rebate and funding opportunities they can take advantage of. Take a look at www.dairyefficiency.org.
Finally, we’d like to share with you the world premiere of a new video which offers a glimpse at the farm energy audit process. Though this video takes the example of a dairy farm, farm energy audits can be beneficial for any type of farm. Now that the initial round of our Farm Energy Auditor Training Program has ended, we want farmers to get a sense of what to expect from the energy audit process as well as to know that it’s an available option that could save them significant money.
Let us know what you think!