Farm Generators for Agriculture Purposes – Why Are They Important?
The agriculture industry is critical to our nation’s economic health and impacts the survival of every American. To ensure farms and fields produce healthy crops and livestock and remain in operation, agricultural businesses require a dependable supply of electricity. That’s why backup farm generators are vital.
If you are an American farmer, you know how essential an uninterrupted electrical supply is to support your livelihood. Continuous electrical power is mandatory, especially in today’s increasingly automated agricultural world, where complex systems are helpless when the power grid drops off. Backup generators ensure your agricultural business stays up and running during power outages.
AUTOMATION NEEDS IN AGRICULTURE
In the centuries since the Industrial Revolution caused a spike in agricultural production, farm mechanization allowed increased yields with less human effort. Harnessing electricity and delivering it through a nationwide grid system allowed distant areas to capitalize on generated power. Reliable electricity helped develop automated agricultural equipment to increase productivity and profits. The key to successful electric farm automation was making sure the power supply was dependable.
Today, American agriculture is a huge economic generator. Because of automation, farmers can parlay their human and mechanical assets into greater yields than were possible even a few decades ago. Statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that, in 2019, agriculture and food-related industries contributed $1.109 trillion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Of this, the direct output from American farms was $136.1 billion.
Other statistics establish how important employment is in the American agricultural and farming sector. Overall, the bigger umbrella of agriculture employs 21.6 million workers, while the farming subsidiary supports 2.6 million people, which is 1.3% of the entire American workforce. These figures wouldn’t be possible without electricity supporting advanced automation in every agricultural facet.
THE RISKS FARMS FACE WITH POWER OUTAGES
The farming industry depends on an immense electrical power supply. Nearly every farming and agricultural business uses automated systems to keep production running. Automated processes have shifted over time, and today’s automation is highly evolved. Because automated agricultural systems are so intertwined with core business functions, backing up the electrical supply is now more necessary than ever.
A modern automated farm can’t allow its electrical flow to be interrupted. Even short-term electrical outages can have devastating effects on livestock and crop survival. Although automation has improved almost every farming process, high technology has created an Achilles’ heel for the modern agricultural industry.
Fortunately, you can easily protect yourself and your business from electrical stoppage vulnerability by incorporating a generator into your farm’s infrastructure. A backup generator lets you continue regular operations during power outages while waiting to tie back into the communal grid.
BACKUP POWER GENERATORS FOR FARM USE
Backup power generators are necessary for the success of American farms and other businesses involved in agricultural production. Investing in a backup farm generator is just as critical as carrying general insurance policies that cover farm buildings, production equipment and living assets.
Electrical power interruptions will cause immense grief to plants and animals being raised in human-created artificial environments. Defending crops and livestock from power loss is a top priority for responsible farmers. In fact, no farm incorporating an automated production system should be without an auxiliary power generator.
Successful farming means electricity keeps flowing when the regular power supply stops. The main reason for commercial power outages is Mother Nature. Harsh weather creates high winds, heavy snows and ice storms that sever transmission lines.
Independent investigations show that American power outages quadrupled in the first decade of the 21st century. Most of these outages were weather-related, and outage periods ranged from a few hours to many days. Although the weather is uncontrollable, you certainly can protect your farm or agricultural operation from power loss with a backup generator.
Power interruptions also happen from grid overloads that cause rolling brownouts, which happen when electrical demand on a grid exceeds the supply at a given time. Brownout periods will likely increase as areas of the country grow, placing more draw on a maximum-capacity electrical grid. Having a backup generator protects your farm against brownout interruption or other electrical downtimes.
WHO DO FARM POWER OUTAGES AFFECT MOST?
Farming is a primary contributor to the agricultural industry, even though not all agricultural activities happen directly on farms. Frontline farmers suffer the most when their automated systems fail from power outages. Power failure affects both of these primary farming segments:
- Crop producers: American farmers produce an array of crops that require electrical support. Many greenhouse operations are fully automated with electrically controlled lighting, irrigation, nutrient and ventilation systems. Crop producers can’t afford electrical interruption and must have generators backing up their power supply.
- Livestock producers: Many livestock farmers raise their animals in indoor conditions where life support systems depend on electrically powered automation. Live creatures in close quarters are at the mercy of mechanical components. Most livestock can’t survive for long when an electrical failure happens. Back-up generators are a livestock lifesaver.
Although living crops are vulnerable to power loss, their health risk is less severe than that of livestock. Artificially grown crops like vegetables and flowers quickly distress from a lack of light or water, but they are nowhere near as threatened by power outages as livestock such as poultry, meat and dairy stock.
Losing any living animal on a farm due to unnecessary electrical downtime can cost an agricultural business a lot of money. Prolonged power loss could be fatal to a farm’s bottom line through losing an entire field of crops or a barn full of livestock. Backup generators will protect you from a loss no matter what agricultural sector you operate in.
Some principal agricultural segments that benefit from farm generator use include:
Automation has revolutionized the American dairy industry. Since the first milking machines were invented in the late 1800s, technological advancements led to the computerization and automation of dairy production. Today, every part of a modern dairy farm depends on an unbroken electric supply to keep production steady and safe.
Electrically powered computer systems track cow location, milking schedules and feeding timelines. Electricity also keeps milk storage facilities at a healthy level. Any power loss in a dairy farm would have a serious economic impact, which you can easily prevent with an auxiliary electrical generator.
Farm-raised poultry like chickens and turkeys also depend on electricity for survival. Many birds raised for meat and egg production reside in tight quarters that contain automated systems controlled by electrically powered components. Poultry farms implement complicated feed and watering systems.
Automated farms also require continuous ventilation and air conditioning controls to keep healthy stock. Even short electrical interruptions in a poultry barn could have fatal consequences. You can completely manage this risk by having a backup generator for poultry farm automation.
Technological advancements in the American greenhouse industry allow for higher crop yields in smaller areas than growers can achieve under natural field conditions. Automation drives greenhouse efficiency, which results in higher profits from denser settings. Automated greenhouse features like light control, precise heat settings and intricate ventilation systems are vital supports to greenhouse operations.
Computerized water and nutrient supplies also increase crop yield. Greenhouse automation and plant health depend on uninterrupted electrical energy flow. For that, a backup generator for greenhouse operations is mandatory. Generators ensure crops never fail from power loss, supporting a greenhouse business’s bottom line.
4. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
Animal husbandry is the science of breeding farm animals and caring for their welfare. Farmers who raise meat animals like hogs and cattle have a lot invested in their livestock. Many modern animal husbandry farms have sophisticated automation systems assisting their operations. Every automated system depends on continuous electricity for animal welfare.
Total confinement facilities are highly productive for livestock like hogs. While confined pens and corrals allow easy stock management, they pose extreme risks to the animals’ health and survival when the power supply stops. Confined facilities have precision heat and ventilation controls, and animals can quickly overheat or suffocate from dangerous, uncontrolled air conditions during power loss. Looking after animal husbandry responsibilities is a principal benefit of farm generator uses.
Automation makes harvesting crop yields and livestock returns highly efficient. Electrically powered automation systems help dairy farmers milk cows, hog farmers harvest stock and egg producers gather inventory. Automation also helps greenhouse growers harvest crops quickly and profitably.
While automated systems are invaluable during harvest time, they also have to be dependable and available. Sudden and unexpected power stops can delay or destroy harvests. Investing in a backup generator prevents these issues and lets harvests proceed as planned with produce delivered to the market on time. Without a doubt, generators for harvesting are excellent investments.
Powering Areas off the Grid
As America’s agricultural industry expands, it’s moving into areas off the grid. Off-grid areas are untapped regions where land is available, but conventional electrical supplies are not. Lack of electricity used to be a major restriction for expanding farmers, who had to wait for commercial power suppliers to extend their grids.
Today, grid restriction is less of an issue, with many enterprising farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs choosing off-grid locations because they have a reliable and economical power alternative. These energy alternatives are technologically advanced electrical generation systems that run independently of a high-voltage power grid.
Off-grid locations also include specialized zones where economic benefits make farming attractive despite having no available electrical grid. Benefits include plentiful water supplies, the right weather conditions and even tax breaks.
Many off-grid farmers also benefit from the solitude that remote farms offer. Farmers who work off the grid also live in this disconnected environment, and powering their homes is another reason for them to invest in a quality generator. Though it is possible to live without many of these amenities, off-grid farmers may want access to modern home comforts such as air conditioning, heating, lighting and refrigeration, which are all easily powered by electricity.
Just as when planning to power your farm with generators, when running an off-grid home, consider your electrical needs. Make a list of all the amenities you’ll need to power so you can choose a generator size and style that fits your needs. Keep in mind that though powering a home looks different from powering a farm, you should still take care not to cut corners so you have the capacity to run all your appliances at the same time.
Off-grid agriculturalists are resourceful people who choose this lifestyle for personal reasons. Some like the freedom of off-grid life. Others enjoy the challenge of developing non-traditional farming methods and making the most out of challenging conditions.
Growing crops and raising livestock off the grid still requires some sort of power. Some resourceful off-grid farmers experiment with alternative energy sources like water, wind and solar power. While these methods convert natural energy sources into electricity, the cost of infrastructure can be prohibitively expensive. Alternative energy production also causes intermittent interruptions and general unreliability.
ENCLOSED GENERATOR SYSTEM — BEST CHOICE FOR OFF THE GRID
The best choice for off-the-grid agricultural electrical energy needs is a contained generator system. As a quality alternative electricity provider, enclosed generators are carefully chosen and properly sized for your off-grid farm. Typically generator enclosures offer weatherproofing to help the generator survive the elements and continue to run. There are also generator enclosures that not only provide weatherproofing, but can also reduce the sound emitted while the generator is running. Today’s high-tech generators provide you with a continuous and dependable electrical supply, regardless of weather conditions or how far in the future the mainstream electrical grid will reach your location.
If you’re an off-grid farmer, your best choice for continuous and dependable electricity is a generator. You can certainly experiment with wind, water or solar alternative energy sources, but you’re wise to mix in a mainstay generator. Your crops’ and livestock’s lives depend on it.
Diesel fuel is one of the most common fuel sources to use in commercial generators for farms. Diesel generators consist of sturdy materials intended to last a long time under sustained industrial use. As a fuel, diesel is efficient, with a high energy density to volume ratio, meaning you can gain the same amount of energy as other sources by burning less fuel. Diesel engines also require less maintenance than other types and can run for longer periods without needing maintenance.
Off-grid farmers usually choose diesel-powered generators because a natural gas supply — the other primary way to fuel generators — is rare to find at most off-the-grid farms or agricultural production sites. Stand-alone backup generators using diesel fuel to run engines that drive generation units are efficient, economical and safe. You can also store an extra diesel supply on your property to keep your generator running beyond a single fuel tank’s capacity.
In some cases, natural gas generators could be a viable option when looking into an off-the-grid farm or agricultural generator system. In some cases, natural gas generators can be converted to accept and run off of propane, which enables flexibility in generator options. It is important to note that like with diesel fuel which requires a steady supply, generators running off of propane need to ensure that the propane tanks are adequately filled on a regular basis.
When considering a backup generator for your farm or agricultural application, be sure to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of both to ensure you’re making the right decision for your needs.
Does My Farm Need a Generator?
Your farm will benefit from a generator whether you’re on or off the electrical grid. As a large-capacity farmer who depends on a commercial electrical supply for mainstay power, you still need a backup generator for those inevitable moments when the grid goes down. When your diesel or natural gas-powered generator kicks in, your operations can continue as normal.
The same applies if you’re a smaller-scale farmer making a living off the grid. Your farm needs a dependable generator to keep you running on a day-to-day basis. Your generator becomes the backbone of your agricultural operation and a major reason for your success.
Farmers who don’t invest in backup generators put a lot at stake. Even short and temporary power outages can have devastating effects on livestock and crops. You might not be able to financially recover from losing your animals due to heatstroke or suffocation and your crops from cycle interruption shock.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT GENERATOR FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES
Investing in a backup generator prevents lost revenue and unnecessary agricultural waste. Whether you choose a new backup generator or a reliable used generator, a high-quality generator is a perfect solution to power problems wherever you are.
The two crucial factors in choosing a backup generator for your farm or agricultural application include:
- Make sure your generator is the correct size for your current and future needs.
- Find the right backup generator supplier to partner with.
Some of the biggest factors to consider with farm generator options are your location, how often you’ll need the generator and how long you expect to run it in those instances. Stationary generators are ideal for keeping on standby and providing the most power possible during a surprise outage.
However, renting or buying a portable generator can also give your farm sufficient power. Mobile farm generators are ideal for powering remote, off-grid locations that can’t accommodate stationary generators. Portable power enables you to move your energy source from site to site at your location, and portable generators powered by diesel can run for a long time on backup fuel storage.
Woodstock Power Is Your Agricultural Generator Supplier
Woodstock Power is your Philadelphia-based agricultural generator partner. We specialize in selling, buying and financing new and used generators in the mid-Atlantic region. At Woodstock Power, you can choose from a wide range of diesel and natural gas-powered electrical generators in sizes from 50 kW to 4,000 kW.
To learn more about how Woodstock Power can help you with agricultural electrical generating problems on and off the grid, call us today. We’ll help you assess your specific needs and find the right agriculture generator. You can reach us at 610-658-3242, or you can always fill out our online contact form.