Skip Navigation

Conservation Choices: Farmstead Energy

Farmstead Energy

Farmstead EnergyWhat it is

Finding ways to conserve energy on farmsteads. Practices could include improving lighting systems, planting windbreaks, reducing tillage or implementing any number of dairy system improvements.

How it helps

  • Energy conservation allows farmers to save money through reduced fuel consumption and energy use, and lowered operation costs.
  • Replacing florescent lights with LED lamps in farm buildings can reduce energy consumption by 50 percent, and they last much longer.
  • Windbreaks can block farmstead buildings from winds, which reduces energy consumption during colder months.
  • Reducing tillage passes or fertilizer application in crop fields reduces fuel costs.
  • Energy improvements to high-tech dairy systems can improve the efficiency of an operation and help produce better producing cows. 
  • Energy efficient pumps that supply water to livestock or for irrigation can save farmers money.

Planning ahead

  • Have you considered greenhouse gas emissions and ambient air pollutants? Methods may be implemented to account for greenhouse gas emission credits.
  • Have you considered the use of renewable energy resources?
  • Have you considered implementing energy measures with ranking metrics such as life cycle energy savings, payback period, and cost-effectiveness?

Tech Notes

  • To implement energy conservation and efficiency measures, plans and specifications should be in accordance with NRCS standards and describe requirements for proper installation to achieve their intended purposes.
  • Replacement and retrofitted plans should be consistent with the purposes of the practice, its intended life, and safety requirements.


  • Maintain records to document the implementation of energy improvements. Retain and update records for a minimum of five years. This could include utility bills, fuel purchases, and yield of agricultural commodities.

Iowa Practice Standard

Fact Sheet


Financial Assistance