Energy strategy from USDA to help farmers with high energy costs
By Manure Manager
By Manure Manager
US Agriculture Secretary Mike
Johanns has unveiled a comprehensive energy strategy to help farmers
and ranchers mitigate the impact of high energy costs and develop
US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has unveiled a comprehensive energy strategy to help farmers and ranchers mitigate the impact of high energy costs and develop long-term solutions.
“As I’ve traveled the country conducting listening sessions, I’ve heard loud and clear that producers are struggling with high energy costs,” said Johanns.
“USDA has put together an array of efforts to assist producers both in the short and long term. I’ve appointed a leadership team to oversee our comprehensive strategy and ensure specific goals are met relating to energy-saving assistance for producers and the advancement of renewable fuels.”
Johanns announced the formation of the USDA Energy Council to examine departmental programs and authorities, ensuring they fit into a comprehensive energy strategy. The council will also ensure agricultural producers have a place at the table for national energy discussions.
Another part of USDA’s effort to mitigate energy costs in the short term is the availability of a newly revised on-line energy calculator designed to help producers reduce fuel usage. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service developed the “Energy Estimator” to calculate the diesel fuel usage and costs associated with various tillage practices, helping producers to make practical, money-saving decisions. Conservation practices such as nutrient management, crop residue management, irrigation management, windbreaks, and contour farming also help to reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels while saving farmers money and helping to protect soil and water resources