Energy use in the horticultural sector varies extensively based on commodity. Orchardists and growers with perennial crops (apples, peaches, vineyards, citrus, blueberries) will have different energy demands than farmers with annual horticulture crops (cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes).
Diesel use in farm vehicles for planting, pruning, spraying and harvesting represents a sizeable portion of most horticultural farm budgets. Water use for irrigation or pumping in hydroponic operations is another significant energy expense. Farmers should examine the latest technologies and ensure that pumps are properly sized, and operating at their best efficiency point.
Energy used for refrigeration in cool rooms provides an additional opportunity for savings. Advances in cooling technologies (VSDs and energy efficiency compressors and motors) make it worthwhile to examine existing cool rooms and ensure that farmers aren’t missing opportunities for savings.