USDA unveiled a new Web-based tool aimed at helping producers reduce energy costs related to animal housing.
The "Energy Estimator for Animal Housing" evaluates the energy use and costs associated with heating, lighting and ventilating poultry, swine and dairy housing.
"A good analysis of the use and costs for heating, lighting and ventilating animal housing contributes to a comprehensive picture of how energy is used on the farm or ranch," says USDA Secretary Mike Johanns. "This tool can result in significant energy and cost savings for producers if they take the appropriate actions."
A producer with an animal feeding operation can save as much as 50% on energy use by maintaining ventilation and heating equipment regularly. Producers nationwide could save $250 million annually through proper maintenance and by using more energy-efficient fixtures and equipment.
The tool is the USDA's fourth energy estimator. For information about "Energy Estimator for Animal Housing," visit ahat.sc.egov.usda.gov. Information about energy estimators for tillage, nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation can be found at www.usda.gov/energytools.