Cutting Fertilizer Use Goal of New Energy Estimator

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA USDA has released it’s new Energy Estimator for Nitrogen to help farmers and ranchers identify potential nitrogen cost savings associated with major crops and commercial nitrogen fertilizer applications. According to the USDA news release, nitrogen fertilizer is one of the largest indirect uses of energy on an agricultural operation. Fertilizer accounts for 29 percent of agriculture’s energy use, according to USDA research data. Proper management of nitrogen fertilizer, including the use of organic sources of nitrogen such as animal manure and cover crops, can save producers energy and money.
So, the government is encouraging farmers to find alternatives to nitrogen fertilizer, or at least to use less of it. That will also help make us more energy independent in the long term.
The new Energy Estimator can be found here.
I will probably have an interview on this topic with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Bruce Knight next week. Any questions you would like me to ask him?

(Note from Cindy: My interview with Bruce Knight was cancelled last week because of scheduling and the fact that he had laryngitis. I have interviewed “the chief” three times since the first of this year so at this point we are probably not going to do this particular interview after all. Maybe at a later date.)