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Extension Education

C.Taylor Clarke
Crop and Soil Science


Dairy and poultry operations, greenhouse facilities, and flue-cured tobacco farms in Southside and Southwest Virginia are significant consumers of energy.  Rising fuel and electricity expenses increase the cost of production and reduce already tight operating margins.  Fluctuations in energy costs make budgeting more difficult.  Inquiries to Virginia Cooperative Extension regarding farm energy audits and energy conservation cost-share programs illustrated the immediate demand by agricultural producers for resources and programs to address energy efficiency issues. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission awarded Virginia Cooperative Extension a $248,842 grant to develop a pilot farm energy efficiency program. An energy firm was selected to train data collectors for energy audits, and a Virginia firm focusing specifically on the energy usage of agricultural enterprises was launched. As a result of the pilot farm energy efficiency program, farm energy audits identified potential annual energy savings including:  1,258,086 (kWh) in electrical usage, 603,315 (gallons) propane fuel, and 19,336 (gallons) fuel oil.  Farm audits projected annual savings of $1.2 million with installation costs to be approximately $4.9 million. Approximately 76% of the recommended energy conservation measures have a payback period shorter than five years.  Twenty-one (21) farms implemented the cost saving projects identified in the audits.  Fourteen (14) farms applied for USDA REAP energy conservation grants and 11 of these were successful. The farm energy audit program has focused the attention of agricultural producers on the cost of energy that they use, energy conservation options, and opportunities to cost-share projects to reduce farm energy consumption.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: C. T. Clarke, M. A. Walker, J. Ignosh, T. D. Reed
  1. Clarke, C. Crop and Soil Science, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia, 23917
  2. Walker, M. Community Viability Specialist, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia, 24540
  3. Ignosh, J. Agricultural Byproduct Utilization Specialist, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia, 22801
  4. Reed, T. Extension Agronomist, Southern Piedmont AREC, Virginia, 23824