|FARM ENERGY NEWS|
Over the same period, certain other factors—for example, higher energy costs—had a greater effect on food prices than did the use of ethanol as a motor fuel.
Factors that influence
|Photo: Karl Ohm|
|Whether it's lighting, ventilation, fuel, irrigation or nitrogen use, the information found in "Energy Tools" can help save energy on the farm.|
The results generated by these tools are estimates based on NRCS models and illustrate the magnitude of savings.
You can contact your local NRCS office for additional assistance.
Otherwise, you can also start by linking to the Energy Consumption Awareness Tools page at: ENERGY TOOLS
On January 16, 2009, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of funding for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG).
Funds for single- or multi-year projects (not to exceed three years ) will be awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process, and applications will be accepted from all eligible non-federal government or non-government organizations or individuals. Read more. . .
Also, don't forget to visit our (click on) Farm Energy News Blog and
participate by submitting material, joining in discussions and offering feedback.
You can also link to the Farm Energy News Blog near the bottom of this home page.
On July 7, 2009, the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Funding was increased by U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.
Go to: News and Information
|On-farm processing of soybean oil
helps stretch diesel fuel supplies
|Mark (left) and Ed Walder, Wittenberg, Wisconsin, developed serveral pressing systems so farmers can convert oilseed crops into meal for feed and oil.|
On-farm fuel and feed
|Soybeans are pressed in two stages producing oil for fuel and high-value meal, which the Walers store in a tank. Pressing drops moisture content from about 14% to 8%.|
|Photos: Karl Ohm|
On one end, soybeans from a 150-bushel gravity box are fed into the first press via a hydraulically operated auger. If the moisture content is below 14%, warm water is gently sprayed on the beans just before being drawn up into the auger that feeds the first press.
“A water jacket, which is heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, is also housed inside the auger to help keep the beans warm and more pliable for better pressing,” says Mark. “Sometimes we heat the water with an outdoor wood-fired furnace. However, since the presses can be powered by the tractor’s power take-off, an exchanger can be used to draw heat from the engine to warm the water jacket inside the auger.”
The brothers have also designed turnkey systems equipped for full-scale processing and with a stationary diesel-powered engine where its heat can be captured to warm the water.
“The turnkey systems are ideal to use inside a building where pressing can be done in more controlled and comfortable surroundings,” says Ed.
These turnkey systems usually involve two side-by-side presses and vary in price from $7,000 to $11,500, depending on their rated processing capacity.
For example, a six-ton press (as rated by the manufacturer) indicates it can process six tons of feedstock – or oilseeds – in a 24-hour period. Besides 10- to 13-ton presses for larger farms or commercial applications, Walders also offer two- and four-ton presses at lower prices.
When the soybeans go through the first screw press, the moisture content drops from around 14% to 10%.
The meal or cake then exits out into another small catch basin at the front end of the first press. There another auger draws the meal into the second and final stage of pressing that squeezes the moisture down to about 8% – a good level for storage.
The low-moisture meal from the second stage of pressing collects in a small basin where another auger transfers it into a meal storage tank.
The oil from the final pressing drains by gravity into a lower pan that funnels it into a small 20-gallon drum equipped with a small tube near the top. The oil then slowly spills over into a smaller drum where it is pumped into a larger barrel for storage.
Double pressing saves time and heat, according to Mark. Meal comes out of the first machine at about 160 degrees, and it exits out of the second machine at about 220 or more degrees.
“We’ve sent samples of our on-farm processed soybean meal to an independent feed analysis lab,” says Mark, “and the product is very comparable, if not the same, to commercial-grade meal. Samples have tested slightly above 42% for bypass protein.”
The Walders also estimate a savings of $120 to $135 per ton in out-of-pocket feed costs by processing the soybeans into meal on their farm.
The Walders use two six-ton presses in tandem to double the overall processing capacity. For example, two six-ton presses can produce about 12 tons of meal and nearly 400 gallons of oil in 24 hours.
“In eight hours, the tractor uses 16 gallons of fuel, but we produce about 130 gallons of bio-diesel fuel, leaving a net of about 114 gallons,” says Mark.
Presently, the Walders have been buying raw soybeans for processing; however, they did raise 10 acres of canola last year. On the average, one bushel of soybeans yields about one gallon of oil. With canola, the average oil yield per bushel is 2.25 gallons, according to Dan.
Walders use about 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel per year just for fieldwork. This year, they produced about 400 gallons of vegetable oil that was diluted on a 50/50 basis with regular No. 2 diesel fuel. This 50/50 mix was used in their skid loader and two other tractors.
“So far, we’ve never had cold-starting or running problems,” says Mark. “Adding a little kerosene to the mixture usually eliminates this problem, if it does occur.”
In the future, the Walders may also consider transesterfication to produce 100% bio-diesel fuel. “Most farms are sitting on a lot of energy, and we want to help others capture it while also adding good feed value to their oilseed crops,” he says.
|On-farm processing turns one bushel of soybeans at $5.80 into a bushel worth|
|$10.82. For example:|
|• 1 gallon of oil =||$ 2.40|
|• 53 lbs. of meal @ $ .14/lb.=||$ 7.42|
|• Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuel (IRS Form 4136) = $ 1.00/ gallon||$ 1.00|
|Total Net:||$ 10.82|
|Source: Walder Mfg., Wittenberg, Wis.|
|Prime Enzymes||Wisconsin-based biotech firm
seeks to extract more ethanol from crops
Middleton, Wis. –– Unlocking and converting starch into simpler sugars so yeast can ferment them into ethanol are all in a day’s work for microscopic enzymes, such as amylase.
But as tiny as they may be, enzymes other than amylase may quickly become the heavyweight champions in producing ethanol more efficiently and in greater quantities from corn and other crops. READ MORE. . .
|Simple ways to save fuel on the farm|
|Columbus, Ohio –– With diesel prices on the rise -- up nearly 50 cents from this time last year and a dollar higher than in 2004 -- a little bit of savings can go a long way when it comes to taking steps to conserve fuel on the farm.|
Randall Reeder, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer, said that being diligent with farming tasks, however mundane or unimportant they may seem, can put a few extra dollars in a farmer’s pocket.
READ MORE . . .
|Examing grain drying costs
|London, Ohio –– With natural gas prices at all-time highs, it wasn't surprising that many farmers attending the 2008 Farm Science Review show sought out more information about conserving energy in drying grain.
Ohio State University agricultural engineers are reacquainting farmers with natural-air grain drying -- a low-energy drying system that boosts grain quality by increasing test weights and potentially cuts energy costs by as much as two-thirds, compared to more commonly used high temperature drying systems.
READ MORE. . .
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|FROM THE PAST||You might of heard about the famous "Soybean Car" that generated some fame for Henry Ford. Well, here are some facts about it from the Benson Ford Research Center.|
The frame, made of tubular steel, had 14 plastic panels attached to it. The car weighed 2000 lbs. –– 1000 lbs. lighter than a steel car. The exact ingredients of the plastic panels are unknown because no record of the formula exists today.
To learn more, click on: Popular Research Topics / Soybean Car
Note: Copy and use restrictions of photo apply
|Photo: The Henry Ford.org|