Check out the NRCS Energy Estimator Tools
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has developed three energy tools designed to increase energy awareness in agriculture and to help farmers and ranchers identify where they can reduce their energy costs. The results generated by these tools are estimates based on NRCS models and are illustrative of the magnitude of savings. Please contact your local NRCS office for additional assistance.
Farmers and ranchers can cut input costs, maintain production, protect soil and water resources, reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, and save money by using conservation practices in their agricultural operations.
Crop Residue Management
Energy Estimator for Tillage is the first of several tools from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)developed to increase energy awareness in agriculture. The tool 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. Try it
A producer can save at least 3.5 gallons of fuel per acre by going from conventional tillage methods to no-till. At November 2005 diesel prices, this amounts to $7.70 per acre in production cost savings. On a farm with 1,000 acres of cropland, these savings add up to 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel per year valued at $7,700.
Energy Estimator for Nitrogen is the second of several tools from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)developed to increase energy awareness in agriculture. This NRCS energy consumption tool enables you to calculate the cost of nitrogen product use on your farm or ranch. Try it
Appropriate substitution of manure for commercial fertilizer can reduce crop production costs by as much as $85 per acre for a 1,000-acre farm. Nationwide, doubling the application of manure-based nitrogen through a nutrient management plan could save agriculture about $1.2 billion worth of natural gas each year and save society up to 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas. It takes some 40,000 cubic feet of natural gas to produce a ton of commercial nitrogen fertilizer. Producers who use nitrogen-fixing legumes as cover crops or in crop rotations also can reduce their need for commercial fertilizer.
The Energy Estimator for Irrigation evaluates opportunities to save on energy costs and improve efficiency of irrigation management. It allows producers to estimate the energy cost of pumping water for irrigation on their farm. Producers can select their irrigation system and their power source. Followed by well lift, pressure and price-per-unit of energy and select whether they use a flow meter, irrigation scheduling or a maintenance program. They must also select a crop from a list of commonly irrigated crops for their state, their irrigated acres and their gross application of irrigation water. Try it
As more than 55 million acres of agricultural land are irrigated nationwide, according to USDA's 2002 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, proper irrigation management can result in significant energy savings for producers individually and collectively. For instance, a producer can move from a high-pressure irrigation system to a low-pressure system and save up to $66 per acre based on spring 2006 prices. Improving water efficiency by just 10 percent could reduce diesel consumption by 27 million gallons and save farmers and ranchers $55 million annually.
The Energy Estimator for Animal HousingThis NRCS energy awareness tool is designed to inform you of the energy cost centers and help you estimate the energy costs for three animal housing operations on your farm or ranch. NRCS technical specialists have developed energy cost models for housing dairy cows, swine, and poultry. Try it
Animal Housing is the fourth tool in the suite of awareness tools the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has developed to increase energy awareness in agriculture. This NRCS energy consumption tool is designed to inform you of the major energy cost centers and help you estimate the energy costs for three animal housing scenarios on your farm or ranch. NRCS technical specialists have developed energy cost models for housing dairy cows, swine, and poultry.