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Solar photovoltaic energy for agricultural operations - Farm Energy
The popularity of generating electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays is growing. Iowa is in the top third of states for harnessing energy from the sun. A combination of new technology, significantly increased production of arrays, and tax incentives have cut the installed cost of solar generation by more than 50 percent in the past several years and greatly changed the economics for those interested in solar. A primary motivating factor for solar installation is to offset electrical consumption and hedge against future costs, but an important secondary factor for some is a desire to "go green", by reducing their fossil fuel consumption.
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Farm Energy: Case Studies - Adding solar electrical generation to a farm with grain drying and electrical heating
This case study explores the possibility of constructing a solar array on a farm. Sizing and construction, system performance, energy generation and cost benefits are primary topics of discussion.
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Farm Energy: Case Studies - Benchmarking Energy Usage for Swine Producers
Understanding energy consumption in swine facilities can help managers know how much energy is being used and how much should be used. Tools for calculating optimal energy use are included in the publication, as well as tips for what to do if usage is higher than the suggested goals.
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Identifying Miscanthus in Iowa
Do you know the difference between the Miscanthus species? One species of Miscanthus is now being evaluated for its bioenergy potential. However, two other species of Miscanthus are becoming invasive in the United States. Due to the invasive risk, this resource will help you learn to identify each species.
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Farm Energy: Case Studies - Techniques to improve tractor energy efficiency and fuel savings
Across Iowa’s farmland, the purchase of diesel fuel for field operations is the greatest single expense for direct energy consumption. In many cases when a tractor is required, helpful strategies are available to manage and reduce fuel consumption.
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Farm Energy: Case Studies - Energy consumption during grain drying
A two-year case study at the Iowa State University research and teaching farms near northeast, central, and southwest measured propane and electricity consumption for grain drying during 2013 and 2014. This study is part of the farm energy efficiency series from ISU Farm Energy and the Iowa Energy Center.
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Farm Energy: Case Studies - Tractor fuel consumption at Armstrong
A recent case study at the ISU Southwest Research and Demonstration Farm measured the fuel savings for techniques such as reducing tillage depth and using the 'shift up, throttle back' strategy to improve a tractor's energy efficiency.
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Farm Energy: Case Studies - Tractor fuel consumption at Nashua
A recent case study at the Iowa State University Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm looked at techniques such as shifting to a higher gear and pulling back on the tractor's throttle as a way to reduce fuel consumption on Iowa farms.
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Energy efficiency for dairy milking equipment - Farm Energy
Dairy farms often use more energy for day-to-day operations than other farmsteads, especially electricity. Scroll compressors, milk precoolers, refrigeration heat recovery, and variable frequency drives can improve energy efficiency during the daily milking routine.
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Conserving energy by using localized heating in swine housing - Farm Energy
Using heat lamps, heat mats, and brooders for localized heating can improve energy efficiency in swine housing. Learn about small adjustments and management considerations for implementing localized heating.
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Energy consumption for row crop production - Farm Energy
This publication provides an overview of farm energy use related to corn and soybean production in Iowa. Three areas of row crop production--field operations, fertilizer and pesticide application, and artificial drying--are used to illustrate on-farm energy consumption.
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Energy considerations for low-temperature grain drying - Farm Energy
Harvested corn often requires artificial drying to lower moisture content for safe storage. Learn about energy considerations for drying corn with natural-air or low-temperature systems.
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Managing swine ventilation controller settings to save energy - Farm Energy
Ventilation is by far the largest source of heating energy loss in swine facilities. To maintain air quality, it is essential to provide proper minimum ventilation without losing excessive energy from the building. Learn how modern controllers interlock equipment operation to avoid conflicts that waste energy.
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Estimating Payback for Energy Efficiency - Farm Energy
Just because a new piece of farm equipment is more energy efficient doesn't mean that replacing older equipment is a wise investment. Learn how to calculate simple payback for energy savings. Find out how quickly the returns from reduced energy costs will help the investment reach its break-even point.
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Indoor Lighting for Livestock, Poultry and Farm Shop Facilities - Farm Energy
Indoor lighting for farm facilities needs to be safe, efficient, and economical. Get an overview of lighting types suited for livestock, poultry, and farm shop facilities.
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Improving Corn Drying Efficiency - Farm Energy
Get info to help effectively control corn drying energy costs – that in some years can rival costs used to plant and harvest the crop. Content gives basic concepts of heated air and natural air drying -- as well as factors affecting in-field drying.
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Incorporating Prairies into Multifunctional Landscapes
See how prairies can benefit farms and find the steps necessary to establish and manage prairies. Look at various uses for prairies: livestock grazing, hay production, biomass feedstocks, and carbon sequestering.
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Conserve Heat Energy in the Farm Shop - Farm Energy
Proper insulation and a well-designed heating system are important for an energy efficient and comfortable farm shop.
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Fuel Efficiency Factors for Tractor Selection - Farm Energy
Considering fuel efficiency factors is important when adding new or used tractors to the farm equipment fleet. This publication provides pointers on what you should consider.
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Energy Fundamentals for Farm Lighting - Farm Energy
Find basic information about several farm lighting options for security, worker safety, livestock production, and work after dark. Also gives a brief overview of energy efficiency for lighting options.
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Shift Up and Throttle Back to Save Tractor Fuel | Farm Energy
Shifting up and throttling back can save tractor fuel under certain conditions. This brochure offers tips on how much you'll save and the best times to use the technique.
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Tractor Maintenance to Conserve Energy - Farm Energy
Machinery represents a significant portion of capital costs in farming operations. Learn tips to manage a well-kept fleet of machinery, able to respond to changing field conditions and other seasonal needs.
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Dryeration and combination drying for increased capacity and efficiency - Farm Energy
When harvest requires high-temperature grain drying, dryeration and combination drying can be implemented to increase the drying rate and save fuel.
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Energy Effcient Fans for Poultry Production - Farm Energy
Ventilation fans are the driving force behind the exchange of air that is necessary to create a healthy environment for animals and farm employees.
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Ballasting Tractors for Fuel Efficiency - Farm Energy
Proper ballasting your tractor balance is important, but can be kind of tricky. This brochure offers tips and tricks for success.
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Managing High-Temperature Grain Dryers for Energy Efficiency - Farm Energy
As grain yields continue to increase, proper design and management of high-temperature grain dryers are important elements of a successful operation.
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Giant Miscanthus for Biomass Production
Miscanthus has received widespread attention as a biomass crop in Europe where it is used primarily for combustion in power plants. In the U.S., Miscanthus is being investigated as a biomass crop for bioenergy and biofuel. Find out about its lifecycle and growth habit, soil and site adaptation, establishment, and more.
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Limiting Field Operations - Farm Energy
Certain field operations are required in modern crop production. But 100 percent fuel savings results when equipment stays parked in the machine shed and a trip across the field is eliminated. Find out how you can start to make a transition to very reduced or no tillage.
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Electric Savings: Understanding Demand and 3-phase Motor Use - Farm Energy
Sometimes simple changes can reduce energy use on the farm. Explore details on demand charges and 3-phase motors.
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Tracking the Energy Use on Your Farm - Farm Energy
Find out how to track your energy use on the farm with a simple energy log by using the provided Excel file linked within the PDF.
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Energy log
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Leadership in the Bioeconomy -- Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Details how the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is involved in the bioeconomy through research, extension, and education.
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How Much Energy is Being Used on Your Farm? - Farm Energy
Discover how Iowa farm energy use compares to other states and how individuals can save energy on the farm. First in a series of publications in the Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency Initiative.
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Estimated Costs for Production, Storage, and Transportation of Switchgrass
Switchgrass, a perennial warm-season grass native to Iowa, is one of the major plants being considered to produce ethanol. Alternative assumptions are presented to estimate the cost of production.
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The Bioeconomy in Iowa: Local Conversations
Report of citizen discussion groups held in spring 2007 in 96 Iowa counties regarding hopes and concerns about the bioeconomy. More than 950 participated in these Extension-facilitated meetings.
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Switchgrass
Provides a brief overview of switchgrass including definition, soil and site adaptation, establishment, fertility needs, yield, harvest considerations, pest management, and disease management.
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Management Guide for the Production of Switchgrass for Biomass Fuel in Southern Iowa
Switchgrass has become a biomass fuel crop for energy generation in southern Iowa. Use these guidelines to help minimize difficulty producing acceptable switchgrass stands in the seeding year.
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Fuel Required for Field Operations -- Machinery Management
This publication estimates the average quantity of diesel fuel required for farm field operations including fertilization, tillage, planting, weed control, and harvesting (fuel gallons per acre). Specifically includes implements associated with green forage, haylage, corn silage, corn grain, and soybeans.
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