Energy expenditure in broadacre cropping farming is largely divided. All broadacre farms have large diesel expenditures – based on tractor usage for sowing, harvesting, and other activities related to in-field production.
All broadacre farms should have a good understanding of the energy and diesel requirements for farm vehicles, including tractors, harvesters, sprayers, etc. As part of the NSW Farmers Energy Innovation program, we have compiled a collection of fact sheets examining energy in farm vehicles. These sheets focus on ways to reduce your current energy use, and ensure you’re getting the most out of your existing equipment. Don’t leave horsepower in the shed!
Irrigated broadacre farms have the additional consideration of energy used to run major irrigation pumping equipment. Large irrigation pumps are electric or diesel, and the crop demands, seasonal variations and energy sources all play into necessary considerations. Pumps and water transport systems generally have high energy demands, and offer a number of opportunities for energy savings. Energy considerations around irrigation focus on pump motors, variable speed drives, setup and maintenance.
If crop production/growth constraints allow, time of use considerations on electric pumps can reduce costs by shifting pumping to off peak electrical rates.