USDA is expanding its initiative to help farmers and ranchers conduct energy audits and improve their overall energy efficiency. On-farm energy audits are tailored to each agricultural operation's primary energy uses. The audits help producers determine the amount of energy used by the entire operation and also identify short- and long-term measures producers can implement to conserve energy and achieve greater energy efficiencies.
"On-farm energy audits are one example of the many ways the Obama administration is supporting rural communities and helping rural families thrive," said Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Providing producers with the opportunity to assess their energy usage and make needed improvements can save money while also benefitting the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
The On-Farm Energy Audit/Implementation Initiative is offered through USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, which provides technical and financial assistance for this purpose through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Interested producers should contact their local NRCS office immediately to determine their State's specific deadline and payment schedule. Application deadlines may be no later than Feb. 25, 2011.