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Fact Sheets and Educational Materials

All the information presented in this article is directed to farmers who are classified as "commercial" or "industrial" customers of electricity. If you are classified as a "residential" customer, this article does not apply to you because your price for electricity is based on a flat (or nearly flat) rate of x cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour).

Tractors and other diesel engines on the farm require considerably less fuel if properly operated and maintained. Achieving (and maintaining) peak performance of your engines will result in many benefits such as high fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance expenses, reduced downtime, and extended life.

As farms become larger and more mechanized, the need for larger electric motors also increases. Three-phase electrical power needs to be considered on all farms, especially if you are planning for any renovations or expansions.

The operating efficiency of a ventilation fan can be reduced 30-50% by the accumulation of dust on fan blades and housing or by shutters that do not operate freely.

The sulfur content of "on-road" transportation diesel fuel is regulated by the federal government. The sulfur content has been greatly reduced in recent months, and it is critical that you know the sulfur content of the fuel you are using in your diesel engines on the farm.

Fuel should be stored in a clean, dry, dark environment. Recommended materials for storage tanks include aluminum, steel, polyethylene, polypropylene, and Teflon, but not concrete-lined storage tanks.

This article applies to those farmers who buy fuel oil or gasoline to run their on-site generation equipment. This article does not apply to those farmers who can run their generation equipment with an on-farm source of methane from a manure digester or with natural gas that is available at little or no cost.

What if you are contacted by a company wanting to lease the wind (or any other energy resource) from your farm? Don't be too quick to sign away your potentially valuable resource. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You have probably heard about some farmers who have cashed in on selling the wind rights from their farms. How can you do the same? Obviously, you will need to be in a windy location. But there is far more involved to determine whether you have an attractive location for wind machines.