Dairy producers should understand exactly how electricity, propane, diesel and natural gas are used in their operations, the Idaho Dairymens Association says.
The associations Industry Relations Committee is leading a producer-awareness effort in partnership with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the USDAs Natural Resources and Conservation Services, EnSave and others.
These are tough economic times, and producers are struggling to cash flow their farms, says Tony VanderHulst, the associations new dairy-producer president. The first step will be to encourage producers to get an energy audit that breaks down their energy bill and identifies areas for improvement. The second is to connect them to funds and services that allow them to make changes.
An energy audit generally identifies ways to cut energy use 10 percent to 35 percent, which can lead to thousands of dollars in annual savings, the association says. Producers can apply at local Natural Resources and Conservation Service offices for funds to pay for an energy audit.
Idaho is the third-largest milk producing state, with nearly 500 dairy operations.
A trade group seeks to show dairy producers how to save money and use energy efficiently.
Dairymen aim to reduce energy consumption