Agricultural Energy Efficiency Professional Development Webinar Series

These energy efficiency webinars cover six major agricultural enterprises in depth: Livestock and Poultry, Irrigation, Grain Drying, Greenhouses, Field Operations and Dairy Farms.

This professional development series is supported by funding from North Central SARE.    The project is coordinated by Scott Sanford, Sr. Outreach Specialist at University of Wisconsin.   Information is presented by a team of extension specialists in the North Central region.

  Find these webinars and many other Farm Energy media resources at the Farm Energy Media archive

Root Zone Heating Systems for Greenhouses

Root zone heating is an effective option for greenhouses that provides heat directly to the growing media rather than heating the air of the greenhouse. This approach provides a triple benefit for greenhouse growers: faster production, higher quality crops and energy savings. If the root zone temperature is maintained at the optimum, air temperature in the greenhouse can be lowered 5 to 10 degrees F., reducing heat loss to the outside and therefore, reducing energy consumption. This is possible because …

Ventilation and Cooling Systems for Animal Housing

Table Of Contents


Livestock production is significantly influenced by animal health and comfort. Ventilation of animal housing to remove moisture and odors and replacing them with fresh air is necessary for livestock productivity. Ventilation also provides air movement that promotes cooling and improves air quality for confined animals. While good ventilation contributes to profitability, if not properly designed, the energy used by a cooling and ventilation system can …

Selecting and Maintaining Greenhouse Thermostats

How would you like to reduce your annual energy costs $100 to $200 for a simple 15-minute maintenance procedure in your greenhouse? This is the potential fuel savings from properly heating a greenhouse by improving the accuracy of a heating thermostat. There are few minimum labor tasks that will give this large a return.

The above savings is based on a 30-foot-by-100-foot double covered greenhouse where the average winter temperature is 25 degrees F. and the fuel costs are $15…

Can I use the exhausted heat from a high-efficiency furnace vent to heat a greenhouse?

No. There are several reasons not to attempt heating a greenhouse with a high-efficiency furnace vent:
1) Carbon monoxide could be lethal to anyone entering a greenhouse heated by furnace exhaust.
2) Carbon monoxide interferes with photosynthesis in plants.
3) It would not be worth the investment.
You have already been environmentally responsible by investing in a high-efficiency furnace. You could run the exhaust pipe through a greenhouse, but there should be very little heat in the exhausted air from …

Introduction to Energy Efficiency and Conservation for Livestock Production

Many energy conservation and efficiency strategies can be applied to dairy, livestock and poultry production to save money and reduce fuel consumption. These include energy-efficient building design, and better management of ventilation and cooling of buildings.

Use of efficient systems for vacuum pumps, cooling milk and heating water can save money on dairy farms. Most farms can find savings by replacing incandescent lighting with high efficiency fluorescent lighting, and may also save by upgrading livestock water fountains to energy-free …

Livestock Watering Systems Energy Efficiency Checklist and Tips

Livestock Watering Systems is part of a series of Efficiency Checklists and Topics that can help you assess your farming operation for energy efficiency and identify strategies to save energy and reduce costs.

For links to other articles in the Efficiency Checklists and Topics series, see Additional Resources at the end of this article.


Livestock Watering Systems

Livestock water fountain. Photo: Carl Pedersen, North Dakota State University Extension

A dependable supply of drinking water is essential in any livestock production …

Additional Resources for Greenhouse Energy Conservation and Efficiency



Play button  Find these topics and many other related Farm Energy media resources at the Farm Energy Media archive.


This greenhouse has a double layer covering, horizontal air flow fans, perimeter insulation, an electronic environmental controller, and a high efficiency furnace that all contribute to energy efficiency and conservation. Photo: Vern

Farm Lighting Energy Efficiency Checklist and Tips

Mercury vapor yard light. Photo credit: Carl Pederson

Farm Lighting is part of a series of Efficiency Checklists and Topics that can help you to assess all areas of your farming operation for energy efficiency and find ideas to save energy and reduce costs. For links to other articles in the Efficiency Checklists and Topics series, see Additional Resources at the end of this article.


Farm Lighting

The design and management of a farm’s lighting system greatly affects its energy …

Greenhouse Ventilation

Good temperature control is vital for a productive high tunnel greenhouse, and this in turn means that the ventilation system needs to be effective and efficient. Regardless of whether a grower uses fans or “natural ventilation,” it is important to make sure that the system is designed properly and working well. Here are a few pointers that will help you improve your system.

Natural Ventilation

The concept of cooling a greenhouse with thermal buoyancy and wind goes back to the …