NRCS Practice Standard: Energy Efficient Agricultural Operation (374)
About the Company:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.
The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.
Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.
To find a local NRCS Service center click here.
To find the specific guideline for each state click here.
About the Solution:
Energy Efficient Agricultural Operation (374)
On farm facilities, equipment, and management strategies that provide increased energy efficiency.
NRCS Conservation Practice Standard Energy Efficient Agricultural Operation (Code 374) is applied to improve the energy efficiency of agricultural operations. The practice applies to any agricultural equipment, system, nonresidential structure, or component that consumes energy as long as that system or component has been assessed and energy improvements identified.
Replacement or retrofit system and related components or devices must meet or exceed currently applicable Federal, State, and local standards and guidelines, as well as appropriate NRCS or industry standards. Examples of NRCS standards include practice standards Pumping Plant (Code 533) and Combustion System Improvement (Code 372). Examples of industry standards that may be applied under this standard include American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Standard, ASHRAE 90.1, “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, ASAE EP566, “Guidelines for Selection of Energy Efficient Agricultural Ventilation Fans,” and National Electrical Manufacturers Association motor efficiency standards.
Applications covered by this practice may include but are not limited to automatic environmental controllers, circulation fans, grain dryers, plate coolers, heat recovery systems, and systems to improve the efficiency of maple syrup production.
Operation and maintenance requirements include periodic inspections with prompt repair of damaged components and monitoring to ensure the continued success of the practice.
Common Associated Practices
NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Energy Efficient Agricultural Operation (Code 374) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:
To view the national NRCS standard for Energy Efficient Agricultural Operation please click here.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.
General Support & Other:
- Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
- Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
- This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.
Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.
To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.
The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY