The primary goal of any farm business owner is to increase revenue, maximize profits and reduce operational costs. Factors that contribute to an increase in operating costs include labor, equipment, machine and energy costs.
In any commercial farm, it is the operation of machines that take a large chunk of the energy being used. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that machine operation takes a huge portion of your monthly farm electricity or energy consumption bill.
In this article, we discuss six great ways to reduce your energy cost at the farm with no negative effect on productivity.
1. Maintain all machines regularly
Ensure all farm machinery is maintained properly, especially the machines that are used often or daily. Remember to keep logs on the dates each machine is serviced. When servicing, ensure all worn-out machine parts are replaced immediately and moving parts must be well lubricated. Don’t forget to get all tires inflated and with the recommended tire pressure.
If you are not trained, avoid replacing any machine part or servicing yourself. It is best to hire a qualified mechanic.
2. Use fluorescent light bulbs in place of incandescent light bulbs
Fluorescent light bulbs are known to save energy and installing them as replacements to incandescent light bulbs will help you save on energy costs. They can lower your lighting energy in your farm by as high as 70 percent. You can also take advantage of a modern solar inverter system. Getting it might cost you a lot of money but it is a great advantage in the long run. For instance, it will help you to lower your energy bills as it only utilizes natural sunlight to power your electrical appliances.
3. Fuel efficiency
Ensure that the appropriate equipment or machine for the right job or operation. If the machine’s horsepower is high and is more than what you need, you would actually be wasting money on fuel that you don’t really have to. Always make plans and arrangements on your trips around your farm and try to lower fuel consumption as much as you can.
4. Upgrade motors when it is necessary to do so
You could significantly reduce your energy costs by upgrading your motor. Window air conditioners, refrigerators and other cooling equipment are examples of equipment to upgrade to higher capacity rather than using different motors with different capacities.
5. Proper irrigation
Always use irrigation pumps correctly to avoid overconsumption of energy. Low-pressure levels, overwatering, and uneven water distribution are causes of overconsumption of energy. This is because they are adding to the inefficiency of the irrigation and you must avoid this. To avoid or get rid of these inefficiency factors, it is important that you plan out your farm irrigation very well.
6. Energy consumption audit
Auditing your farm’s energy consumption periodically would definitely help you identify the things that could be fixed in reducing the consumption of energy. When proper energy auditing is carried out, you will know how to reduce the energy consumption of your farm. When it gets too hot or cold, proper affordable farm clothing is also a great solution so you won’t have to spend more money just to make you feel comfortable with the temperature.