Renewable energy on dairy farms
Farming isn’t cheap and the price of produce is directly affected by rising energy costs. Farms large and small often see a lot of their budget going toward paying the costs of monthly energy bills.
Fuel and energy expenses affect the cost of transport usage, feed, and fertilizer. Renewable energy options are now being employed by farmers who are looking to better manage their bottom-line.
Growing produce that can be converted into bio-diesel fuel is an option as well as the utilization biogas digesters, and solar panels. Scientists are constantly searching for new ways of establishing renewable energy sources.
Using fossil fuels
Since fossil fuels are likely to skyrocket in price in the future due to limited availability, using renewable energy may even become a necessity for farmers who must sustain profitability.
Monitoring crops, animals,and equipment with monitoring techniques can drastically assist farmers who try to produce renewable energy on their farm land.
Sunflowers, canola, and soybeans are what is known as “oilseed” crops. Once the plants they are grown from are ready to be harvested, the resulting produce can be crushed into pressed oil used in diesel engines.
In the case where there is a local community of multiple farmers, it may be helpful to cooperatively buy and maintain an oil press.
Since these oilseed crops need to produce a sufficient harvest, monitoring the plants is a good idea. If the crops don’t seem to optimally grow, agriculturists can step in to rectify the problem early on.
Switchgrass and grain corn are two crops that can be burned as an energy alternative. These two can be feasible options since they can burn without much prior processing, which is very cost-effective.
Switchgrass typically requires no maintenance once planted. It will grow almost anywhere, even in areas where most crops won’t grow. Another bonus of switchgrass is that it will grow annually without being replanted.
A pelletizer must be used to pelletize the switchgrass with that piece of equipment being the only major expense when it comes to farming switchgrass. For dairy farmers grain corn is often a preferred choice when it comes to supplying their own energy. Corn is a popular item grown to feed cattle.
Here’s another way that UAV usage can beneficial on farms: cattle observance can clue farmers into how much corn their cattle is actually consuming and how much they will have to spare on fuel production.
Monitoring the animals and whatever energy equipment they have available will keep farmers up to date on any issues that may need immediate attention. Corn dryers are a great way to burn unused corn for fuel since they use a minimal amount of corn in producing energy.
Biogas digesters are another efficient way for farmers to harness renewable energy for their farms. Biogas digesters work by converting manure into electricity.
The gasses they create when burned can make thermal or electric energy. Biogas digesters also help reduce greenhouse emissions by trapping methane.
Another advantage to biogas digesters is they produce fertilizer as a byproduct.
Biogas digesters are recognized by the government as a huge relief to the environment, and grants are being awarded to qualified farmers who agree to build them.
Solar panels are a growingly popular means of renewable energy in the United States. They can be used for water heating and produce electricity.
Farmers looking to benefit from government incentives in building a solar hot water system are advised to check current policies before construction since federal and state funding for such projects are limited.
Solar systems used in generating electrical energy are expensive but worth the cost over time.
They can be installed so that farm animals can graze beneath them without taking up much extra space on the land. Cattle surveillance let farmers know if their cows are reacting to the shade provided by the solar panels and give them a better view of their cows’ general and individual behavior.
In order for farmers to stay in business, they must stay profitable. By using UAVs and one or multiple methods of renewable energy, they’ll be more likely to meet their budgeting demands.