Efficiency Measures, Special Programs Improve Farm Energy Use
April 14, 2022
Energy is a major expense in agriculture. Farms depend on diesel, gasoline and electricity to help with the important work of raising crops and livestock.
Advancements in efficiency and special programs offered by electric cooperatives, like Stearns Electric Association, are presenting new opportunities for farms to use less energy overall and to use electricity in new ways.
LED lighting and efficient heating and cooling technologies have reduced the energy needed to keep animals healthy and comfortable all year.
At Stearns Electric, some of our agricultural programs include:
- Interruptible Gen-Set Program – During periods of peak demand, Stearns Electric will interrupt your electric service and automatically switch energy load onto your back-up generator. In return, participants receive a lower energy rate throughout the year.
- Interruptible Irrigation Program – During periods of peak demand, Stearns Electric will shut down members’ irrigation systems in the afternoon or early evenings on days that there is a large demand for energy (hot days). In return, participants receive a discount on the energy rate and demand charge throughout the year.
- Agricultural Equipment Rebates – Stearns Electric offers various energy efficiency upgrades to help our agricultural members be more efficient. Some of these rebates include plate coolers, robotic milking system, lighting, variable frequency drive, livestock waterer, ventilation and more.
ELECTRIFICATION: A GROWING TREND
Equipment manufacturers are developing electric farm implements with the potential to require far less energy and maintenance. The global market for electric tractors is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade.
Additionally, robotic technology is being applied to many kinds of machines, such as robotic milking operations, to automate processes. These devices help farmers reduce labor demands while increasing efficiency – freeing up time for farmers to work on other duties. Since the robotic milking machines are optimized to work efficiently, they can also help remove more milk per cow and provide more rest for the animals, too.
One of the most exciting trends is happening indoors. Enclosed growing containers equipped with finely tuned electric equipment provide optimal water, light and nutrients for produce. Best of all, they can grow fruits and vegetables year-round.
To learn more about improving the energy use on your farm, contact John Pantzke at (800) 962-0655.
Visit https://www.stearnselectric.org/save-money-and-energy/commercial-and-agriculture/agricultural-equipment-rebates/ for a full list of rebates available.
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