Energy For Farms

Understanding and reducing energy use on organic dairy farms.

Stuart and Carol Taylor’s Argoed Farm in Mold will become a classroom on the afternoon of the 14th May 2009 when it hosts the event entitled Watt a Saving’ which will cover the farm’s present use of energy, both electrical and fuel oil and investigate if there are ways to reduce the use of both. It is being organized by Organic Centre Wales as part of the Farming Connect Organic Development Programme and is aimed at all farmers who are concerned about the trend for energy costs to increase.

The event which will be led by Pat Stebbings, an independent energy consultant will list the various ways in which energy is used on the farm and differentiate between energy used by various appliances such as the milking machine, water heater, bulk tank and fuel used by tractors performing a variety of tasks such as harvesting grass and hauling muck.

The rapid rise in world oil prices last year and its sedate return to more affordable levels has left farmers with increased input costs without a corresponding rise in returns, necessitating a detailed investigation of the on farm use of power.

It is impossible to reduce energy costs unless you first of all know what you are using and how it is being used’ said Mari Jones of OCW, the event organiser. How much of the total electricity used by the unit is used by the house will be separated from energy used to milk the cows and cool the milk. Knowing where the electricity is being used and how much, hopefully will lead to economies.’ All producers, not only dairy farmers will benefit from attending this event because some time will be devoted to investigating the feasibility of on farm electricity generating.

The event, which is free, starts at 1.30am and will finish at 4.00pm, with refreshments provided. Because places are limited to 20, producers interested in attending need to register with Mari Jones on 01970 622248 to ensure a place and check the arrangements.

Further information

Mari Jones, Knowledge Transfer Officer, Organic Centre Wales, IBERS, Aberystwyth SY23 3AL. 01970 622248, mzj@aber.ac.uk.