Farm Building Plans

I sometimes receive requests for help designing barns, sheds and other structures. It is a bit out of my scope of practice, but there are loads of designs available from the Midwest Plan Service (at Iowa State University), the Canadian Plan Service and North Dakota State University.  

LED Lights – Status, Cost/Benefit and Pro’s and Cons

I have been receiving several inquiries recently on supplemental lighting for greenhouse production. The most common question is “Should I install LED lights to support growing?” I have found one report to be the most complete and current on this topic and wanted to share it here. Economic Analysis of Greenhouse Lighting: Light Emitting Diodes […]

Oilseed Economics Update 2014

Yesterday we held our annual Oilseed Producer’s Meeting.  At this meeting, I presented an economic overview of oilseeds in Vermont.  Ina nutshell, Vermont has an installed on-farm biodiesel capacity of 600,000 gal/yr (5 sites) with a normalized initial cost of $1/gal of capacity (better than national average). Fuel can be produced for an average cost […]

Small Scale Oilseed Press Evaulations

We recently completed a series of small scale oilseed press evaluations related to on-farm oilseed processing.  The video below summarizes the different presses and a full report is available for download.

Greenhouse & Tunnel Tour Video Series

Energy and Waste in the Food System

Although estimates vary, we invest about 14 calories of fossil fuel-based energy and 15-20 calories of energy in general into every 1 calorie of food produced.  And (here’s the kicker) 30-50% of the food produced never makes it to a digestive track.  So those energy input numbers are actually low by any true measure of […]

Ag Census Video

I really like the Ag Census and USDA-NASS. Fellow data geeks (but they have the better electric guitar).