July Energy Breakfast
July 17 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 amFree - $10
Farm Energy Dollars and Sense
Winneshiek Energy District’s July energy breakfast will feature new data and analysis on energy usage in northeast Iowa agriculture. It will be held Tuesday July 17th, at 7:30am at Tbocks lower level. The public is welcome and asked to register at energydistrict.org/breakfast.
The event will feature a panel of brief presentations and a discussion. Panel members include Brad Crawford, Consultant with the Energy District; the District’s Lead Energy Planner Joel Zook; and Todd Duncan, District Conservationist for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Mr. Crawford will present a new online tool that provides a snapshot and breakdown of total agricultural energy use by county. The online tool can be found at agreport.energydistrict.org.
“While the tool is still in beta version, we think the numbers are getting better and are certainly eye-opening” said Crawford. “Over $150 million in annual ag energy inputs in our five northeast Iowa counties suggests a great deal of opportunity for savings.”
The county level tool analyzes ag energy in both livestock facilities and in cropping systems. Mr. Zook will review advances in facilities energy improvements, and Mr. Duncan will discuss soil health and the multiple benefits of practices such as no-till, nutrient management, cover crops, and conservation buffers. These practices not only reduce energy costs, but also reduce erosion and improve soil health, improve water quality and reduce flooding, provide wildlife habitat, and more.
According to Zook, the District’s Farm Energy Planning services are meant to help farmers identify energy savings and get to work. “Our farm energy audit and analysis dives into both energy efficiency and farm solar options. We help producers figure out the best approach for practices that are economically viable now, and those that have financial incentives available through USDA or other programs.”
“Just like our energy planning with households and businesses, there are always cost-effective opportunities. Farms can be more complex in the analysis, but as energy inputs rise, the savings potential is similarly large in many cases.”
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