With Help of TVA, Farmer Puts ‘Pigs in Blankets’ to Save Energy

Cheryl Kaften

What’s a pig farmer to do when animals’ lives are being lost because they are trying to hog all of the heat during the winter season? Providing commercial and industrial energy customers with efficient solutions is the primary mission of Tennessee ValleyAuthority’s EnergyRight Solutions for Business and Industry (ERSB+I) team – and they came to the rescue when E.M. Heard & Sons, a pig farm located in Auburn, Kentucky, called for help.

Audits Key to Efficient Farming

Carl Weinschenk

The good news is that there are many ways to improve performance in agricultural settings. All the farmers have to do is find them.

Horticultural Lamps from Cree

Carl Weinschenk

Cree has introduced the XG-E an XP-E High Efficiency Photo Red LEDs for horticultural uses. The LEDs deliver as much as 21 percent higher output than previous generations of the  products. The XG-E and XP-E deliver Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF) levels up to 5.39 μmol/sec at 85 C, the press release says. The footprint of the   …Continue Reading

The Lighting Challenges of Indoor Horticulture

Carl Weinschenk

Energy managers working in indoor horticultural settings face unique challenges in creating environments that optimize growth without breaking the budget.

Unity College Gets Grant for Greenhouses

Carl Weinschenk

Unity College in Maine, which describes itself as “America’s Environmental College,” has received a $40,000 grant to upgrade the heating system of McKay Farm & Research Station’s greenhouses, according to the Lancaster Farmer. The school, which is in Unity, ME, aims to upgrade the campus to carbon-neutral and fossil fuel-free status. The grant, which is seen by   …Continue Reading

Energy Efficiency Blossoms at Michigan Greenhouse

Carl Weinschenk

Micandy Gardens, a greenhouse operation in Hudsonville, MI, has taken significant steps to become energy efficient, according to Greenhouse Grower. The story says that Micandy uses three-phase variable speed pumps for its well water and the company is using double poly – with air filtration between layers – instead of glass houses. Micandy also only   …Continue Reading

Energy Efficiency is Growing on Farms

Carl Weinschenk

Improving the bottom line through better and more efficient use of energy is as important for a farm that grows wheat, corn or tomatoes as it is for a factory that builds cars, refrigerators or ships.

USDA Helping on Small, Rural Projects

Carl Weinschenk

The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week announced that it will support 821 projects being run by small rural businesses and agricultural concerns. The projects all are aimed at reducing energy use and cutting costs. The funding, which consists of $43.2 million in loan guarantees and $11.6 million in grants, will made available through the Rural Energy for   …Continue Reading

Microgrids Positioned for a Bright Future

Carl Weinschenk

Microgrids are popping up in the strangest places – such as a small upstate New York town and a commercial dairy. Earlier this month, the Associated Press profiled the energy activities of Nassau, NY, which is which is near Albany. The town was buffeted by ice storms in 2008 and 2009. The genesis of the   …Continue Reading

LEDs Offer Multiple Advantages to the Horticulture Industry

Carl Weinschenk

LEDs offer advantages to the horticulture industry that go far beyond those they provide to other industries and to consumers. Scientists say that light at certain spectral levels is more helpful to chlorophyll absorption than others, according to LEDs Magazine. Thus, LEDs – in which spectral output can be controlled – are superior to incandescent and   …Continue Reading