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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Agriculture


Innovation Ups Irrigation IQ: Sensors, Controllers, and Flow Meters Get Smarter

Water Efficiency, Sep/Oct 2016, by Lyn Corum.

"All growers want to see their crops, gardens, and landscapes flourish. Competition among manufacturers of irrigation controllers, sensors, and flow meters is driving innovation at high speed in this digital age, to satisfy the market."

Merkley [OR] Announces $52 Million in Energy Loans for Rural Communities

The Gorge Business News, July 7, 2016.

"Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make $52 million in loans available to rural electric co-ops through the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). RESP is a program designed by Senator Merkley to allow rural electric co-ops to offer their customers low-interest loans from USDA to provide affordable financing for energy efficiency improvements. The customers then pay back the loans through the savings on their electric bills."

Facilitating Fermentation [Pumping Systems]

Pumps & Systems, July 2016, by John Wallace.

"California vineyard uses AODD [air-operated double-diaphragm]pumps for 6,000-gallon tanks to achieve up to 60 percent savings in energy and operating costs."

Irrigation Modernization Program Wins National Award

The Bulletin (Bend, OR), June 21, 2016.

"Eight irrigation districts in Central Oregon are taking part in a water-saving program that recently won a national award. The program seeks to modernize irrigation systems by replacing open canals with piping to keep water from evaporating or leaking while being diverted to farms and ranches."

Farm to Fleets: Manure Helps Chicago Startup Build Natural Gas Network

Chicago Tribune, Mar. 2016, by Ally Marotti.

"Chicago startup AmpCNG launched at a farm in northwest Indiana that converted cow manure to renewable natural gas. Nearly five years later, that manure from Fair Oaks Farm is still a core part of the West Loop-based startup’s business. But its reach has grown. It now owns and operates 19 compressed natural gas, or CNG, stations in eight states, fueling the increasing number of vehicles that operate on the resource."

Optimizing Irrigation

Water Efficiency, May 2016, by Don Talend.

"Irrigation monitoring systems save water and dollars--and often maximize the health of crops, plants, and turf."

Industry Prepares for U.S. Pump Efficiency Standards

Pumps & Systems, Mar. 2016, by Mark Handzel.

"Manufacturers will need to adapt to new rules for clean-water pumps by 2020.

California MSW Organics Digester Prepares To Launch

BioCycle, Oct. 2015, by Nora Goldstein.

"Construction is nearing completion, and all the equipment is installed at CR&R Inc.'s high solids anaerobic digester (AD) facility in Perris, California. “We are approaching a dry run with the digester to test out the various system components, and then will fine-tune the process controls,” notes Paul Relis, CR&R Senior Vice-President. “We will likely start processing feedstocks in the digesters in the first quarter of 2016.”"

Pot Power: How Utilities and Regulators are Dealing with the Budding Marijuana Industry

Utility Dive, Nov. 13, 2015, by Gavin Bade.

"Marijuana growing is becoming so mainstream — and is consuming so much energy — that electric utilities and their regulators from coast to coast are sitting up and taking notice."

Drip Irrigation Helping CA Dairies Maximize Nutrients [and Save Water]

Manure Manager, Sep/Oct 2015.

"Enterprising dairy using drip irrigation of liquid manure to save water. DeJager Farms manager Nate Ray is confident that lessons learned the first year of applying liquid manure via drip tape to his forage crops have shown success is at hand."
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