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Energy

You might be surprised to learn that farms are spending more on fertilizer and pesticides than fuel.  The USDA Economic Research Service and the Agricultural Resource Management Survey found that the highest energy expenses come from indirect energy sources such as fertilizers and pesticides.  The agricultural farm’s share of indirect expenses is about 17.1%.  Whereas, direct energy’s share of expenses, such as fuel and electricity, is about 8.5%. This data is throughout all farm sizes in U.S. farm businesses.

When looking at all farm sizes, the survey found that small farm businesses highest production expense comes from about 12% of direct energy expenditure.   Medium-sized farm businesses highest energy expense is around 22% of indirect energy expenditure.  The large farm businesses have a higher labor expense which thereby reduces the total energy based expenses. 

The chart below is found in the September 2014 Amber Waves data feature, “Agricultural Energy Use and the Proposed Clean Power Plan.”

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