Horticulture

Energy use in the horticultural sector varies extensively based on commodity. Orchardists and growers with perennial crops (apples, peaches, vineyards, citrus, blueberries) will have different energy demands than farmers with annual horticulture crops (cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes).

Hydroponic lettuce
Hydroponic setups are a way to maximise land use efficiency, but require large amounts of energy for constant pumping of water and nutrients. Examining pump efficiency and ensuring the most efficient setup will help an operation to be successful.
NSW Farmers

Diesel use in farm vehicles for planting, pruning, spraying and harvesting represents a sizeable portion of most horticultural farm budgets. Water use for irrigation or pumping in hydroponic operations is another significant energy expense. Farmers should examine the latest technologies and ensure that pumps are properly sized, and operating at their best efficiency point.

Grape pickler
As a major source of energy use, farm vehicles (tractors, pickers, sprayers, harvesters, etc) should be considered for efficiency. Taking steps like examining tyre pressures and ballasting, and ensuring the most efficient running methods can help reduce fuel costs.
NSW Farmers

Energy used for refrigeration in cool rooms provides an additional opportunity for savings. Advances in cooling technologies (VSDs and energy efficiency compressors and motors) make it worthwhile to examine existing cool rooms and ensure that farmers aren’t missing opportunities for savings.

Empty cool room
Cool rooms are a major source of energy in horticultural production. Areas to examine for maintaining an efficienct cool room include setpoints, seals around doors, compressor and fan motors, and cool roof coverings.
NSW Farmers

Cool rooms and storage sheds also provide a good location for solar photovoltaic or hot water installations. 

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