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AgEMP: Agriculture Energy Management Plan Wisconsin Demonstration Project

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008978.(doi:10.13031/2013.29779)
Authors:   Joseph Marth Schultz, Jennifer L Brinker
Keywords:   Agriculture Energy Management Plan, Ag EMP, Energy Audit, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Audit, Wind, Solar, grain drying, dairy, crop production,

Interest in the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures on farms is increasing as a result of higher energy prices and numerous State and Federal initiated programs like Efficiency Maine, Wisconsin Focus on Energy, USDA-REAP, and the Conservation Security Program (CSP). The Wisconsin USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Sand County Foundation, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Focus on Energy, developed an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP) pilot project for a Wisconsin dairy farm and a cash grain operation. The AgEMP, envisioned to be a comprehensive energy overview and plan for the farm, includes three primary elements: 1) Energy Efficiency Audit, 2) Renewable Energy Site Assessments, and 3) Carbon Footprint. The energy efficiency audit included an assessment of the farm facilities and cropping practices. Detailed in the dairy farm energy audit were assessments of the farms milking center, grain drying, and irrigation systems. The cash grain operations audit included an assessment of energy efficiency opportunities for the grain drying and storage systems. Energy audits were also conducted for the farm residences. Renewable energy site assessments were completed for wind and solar electricity on both farms by a certified assessor. Lastly, a carbon footprint was calculated for the operations and opportunities to emit less carbon, sequester additional carbon and further conserve energy were outlined. The final product was provided to the farmers who are now in the process of implementing the recommendations. The completion of the Ag EMP resulted in action on both the Crop Farm and the Dairy Farm under review. A 20 kW wind generator was installed. Each of the farms are reviewing energy efficiency upgrades as well with grain drying and irrigation operations under review. Federally,fforts are underway to provide incentive payments to farmers through the USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in order to develop AgEMPs nationwide.

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