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Irrigation Energy Audit

Total energy use in irrigated agriculture includes field operations and tillage, seed sources, chemicals, fertilizer, irrigation, and harvest/drying. Energy for pumping water accounts for a large portion of the energy used in an irrigated agriculture production system. Thus improvements in the performance of the irrigation system components can result in significant energy savings. An essential element to improving irrigation energy use efficiency is to conduct an energy audit to determine the current energy use of the irrigation system. The energy audit can then prioritize improvements for the irrigation system to save energy.

On individual farms, irrigation accounts for a large portion of the farm energy use. The 2008 Census of Agriculture shows that the energy expenses for irrigation in Michigan exceed $17 million per year. The goal is to maximize use of stored soil water and precipitation to minimize pumping. Energy use can also be reduced by lowering the operating pressure of the irrigation system. Finally, energy can be conserved by assuring that the pumping plant is operating as efficiently as possible

An irrigation energy audit can be performed to evaluate the overall energy efficiency of the irrigation system and provide recommendations and guidance to improve some of the factors from the above table. The audit will also provide cost/return estimates for improvements to the irrigation system.

Irrigation Energy Audit Manual

Audit Training

Phase 3 Dairy: Completed

Irrigation: Fall

Renewable Energy Assessment:

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