The challenge of cutting energy use on organic farms

It’s all rather circular – farms both produce and consume energy. Much recent attention has been focused on farm-sourced biofuels, but a recent Soil Association conference reminded us that farms themselves are major energy consumers. The debate was about the opportunities and challenges for the reduction of energy use on farms.

A Country Land Association presentation drew particular attention to the financial incentives for maintaining and improving efficient use of energy noting a number of areas where practical steps will achieve this. Oliver Harwood (CLA) pointed out, for example, that dirty fans and un-greased bearings burn money straight off the bottom line as they spin against unnecessary resistance. The CLA also take a positive view of biofuels and Oliver discussed various opportunities for energy production including these as well as wind and other renewables.

Bill Basford spoke about energy and farm equipment. He demonstrated that significant savings can be made by getting basics…

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