Beltsville, MD – “The concept of being self-sufficient is pretty exciting,” says Roger Rainville, a Vermont Dairy producer who has been working for four years to achieve energy independence on his farm.
Working with UVM Extension Specialist Heather Darby on a SARE funded grant, Rainville conducted three years of trials to identify top producing varieties of canola in northern Vermont. The easy-to-grow canola fit well into his existing corn-alfalfa rotation—and by the third year, after realizing that he could eliminate swathing, Rainville harvested directly from the field, achieving yields of 1.5 tons per acre, leaving him very optimistic about future production.
Clean Energy Farming, a free 16-page bulletin published by SARE Outreach, features Rainville and other innovative SARE-funded farmers who are increasing profits by implementing energy efficient farming practices and producing and using renewable energy. The bulletin is filled with stories of producers and researchers working together to demonstrate how clean energy practices are quickly becoming core to the operations of farmers and ranchers across America.
Cutting fuel costs was just one of Rainville’s incentives. With nearly 10,000 cows in a 20 mile radius of his operation, he quickly grasped the benefits of growing canola oilseed to produce his own fuel and using the by-product for cattle feed.
“Farmers can do this themselves,” says Rainville. “Years ago, farmers used ten percent of their land to fuel the farm — the feed went to the horses. This is the same idea.”
Clean Energy Farming is the latest of a series of publications that feature the most creative research funded by SARE. Preview or download the entire publication at http://www.sare.org/publications/energy.htm. To order print copies, visit www.sare.org/Webstore, call 301/504-5411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Agricultural educators may place orders for print copies in quantity at no cost.
Distributed by SARE Outreach for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), USDA. SARE’s mission is to advance – to the whole of American agriculture – innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. SARE Outreach operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland and the University of Vermont to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. For more information visit www.sare.org.