Survey to break down production by source of energy; release expected in 2011

The USDA wants to begin more extensively tracking renewable energy production on U.S. farms and how it affects the grower's bottom line.

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service recently requested permission to begin the survey from the White House's Office of Management and Budget, according to an agency notice.

The new report would break down renewable energy production by category, such as solar, wind or anaerobic digestion.

The survey would also ask growers how much they saved on utility bills, whether they sold any electricity back onto the power grid, as well as the rate per kilowatt hour they received.

NASS would expect to publish nationwide and state findings by 2011.

The agency would survey farms that identified as energy producers in the 2007 Census of Agriculture.

About 23,500 farms in the U.S. generate electricity, which is about 1 percent of all agricultural operations in the country, according to the census.

California is the top on-farm energy producer, with 3,230 operations generating electricity. Oregon ranked sixth, with 631 farms; Washington ranked 17th, with 499 farms; and Idaho ranked 29th, with 337 farms.

For more information, contact NASS associate administrator Joseph Reilly at 202-720-4333.

-- Mateusz Perkowski

Rank    State    Farms

1    California    3,230

2    Texas    2,300

3    Colorado    969

4    Oklahoma    822

5    Hawaii    804

6    Oregon    631

7    Pennsylvania    592

8    Ohio    569

9    Missouri    568

10    New Mexico    556

11    Wisconsin    545

12    Iowa    539

13    Indiana    538

14    Kansas    529

15*    Minnesota    514

15*    Montana    514

17    Kentucky    512

18    Washington    499

19    Arizona    479

20    North Carolina    467

21    New York    454

22    Tennessee    452

23    Nebraska    426

24    Michigan    417

25    Florida    414

26    Illinois    393

27    Virginia    392

28    Wyoming    373

29    Georgia    360

30    Idaho    337

31    Alabama    322

32*    Arkansas    299

32*    Utah    299

34    Mississippi    243

35    South Dakota    208

36    New Jersey    204

37    North Dakota    197

38    Vermont    185

39    Maine    184

40    South Carolina    179

41    Louisiana    177

42    West Virginia    163

43    Massachusetts    152

44    Maryland    131

45    Nevada    102

46    New Hampshire    78

47    Connecticut    55

48    Alaska    35

49    Delaware    22

50    Rhode Island    21

*tied

—National Agricultural Statistics Service

 

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