New Publication Helps Farmers Track, Compare Energy Use and Costs

ISU Extension publication can help track energy use, and compare usage and costs for various energy sources.

Published on: Jan 4, 2010
A new publication from Iowa State University Extension can help farmers track their energy use and compare their usage and costs for various energy sources. "Tracking the Energy Use on Your Farm" (PM 2089C) is available to download from ISU's Extension Online Store at The publication includes an energy log that can be downloaded for use with Microsoft Excel or printed and completed by hand, says Jane Flammang, ISU Extension program coordinator for the new statewide Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency educational initiative. Farmers can use the log to track all their on-farm energy use, whether electricity, diesel fuel, gasoline, propane or natural gas. The Excel spreadsheet will automatically calculate a farmer's per-unit cost whether kilowatt hour, gallon or cubic foot. The spreadsheet also will calculate the total energy cost month-to-month and throughout the year.

New series of farm energy conservation, efficiency materials

This publication is part of a series of farm energy conservation and efficiency educational materials being developed through the Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency educational initiative, says Flammang. The purpose is to increase farmers' awareness of opportunities for improving efficient use of farm energy. The initiative also will help farmers explore alternatives to reduce farm energy demand and to improve their farms' overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment. ISU Extension received a grant from the Iowa Energy Center to carry out the initiative. Extension and the Iowa Energy Center are cooperating with Iowa Farm Bureau, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, Consumers Energy, Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy, Iowa Office of Energy Independence and USDA in the effort. For more information, go to See especially the topic environment – energy.