Introduction to Energy Efficiency and Conservation for Livestock Production

Farm Energy November 17, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Many energy conservation and efficiency strategies can be applied to dairy, livestock and poultry production to save money and reduce fuel consumption. These include energy-efficient building design, and better management of ventilation and cooling of buildings.

Use of efficient systems for vacuum pumps, cooling milk and heating water can save money on dairy farms. Most farms can find savings by replacing incandescent lighting with high efficiency fluorescent lighting, and may also save by upgrading livestock water fountains to energy-free livestock watering systems.

These dairy barns on a New England farm employ several energy conservation measures, including passive ventilation. Photo: Vern Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension
 

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The use of animal waste systems that minimize handling, produce energy, reduce odor, and/or prevent environmental contamination may be economical on larger farms.

More livestock producers are monitoring renewable and nonrenewable energy inputs to gauge their level of sustainability and overall environmental impact.

An Energy Efficiency Checklist and Tip sheet has been developed to help identify steps you can take on a livestock farm to reduce energy consumption.

Additional Resources

Efficiency Checklist and Tip Series:

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.