Monday, May 31, 2010


A new initiative from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, called the Agricultural Energy Conservation and Efficiency Initiative, offers financial assistance for individual on-farm energy audits. Applications for Fiscal Year 2010 funding must be received by June 18, 2010.

“Idaho is one of 29 states participating in the pilot of this energy conservation initiative,” said Clint Evans, Assistant Idaho State Conservationist. “It’s designed to help agricultural producers convert to more energy efficient operations over time.”

The energy audits will be individually tailored to make sure a farm's primary energy uses are covered. For example, things like milk cooling, heating and cooling of livestock production facilities, manure collection and transfer, grain drying, and similar common on-farm activities are considered.

“The on-farm energy audit identifies how an operation can become more energy efficient. That information is used to develop an agriculture energy management plan,” Evans added.

Certified Technical Service Providers conduct the energy audits. NRCS pays a set rate for the cost of the audit and developing an agriculture energy management plan that meets agency standards.

Applications for this pilot program will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants are expected to complete the audit within a year of signing the contract.

The initiative falls under the NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Applications for this initiative are accepted on a continuous basis, but must be received no later than June 18, 2010 to be considered for this year’s funding.

Information about how to apply for the energy audit and develop an agriculture energy management plan is available at or visit your local NRCS office. To find the office nearest you, look for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in the government pages of the phonebook or on the NRCS Web page

under “Find a Service Center.”

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