Monday, August 15, 2016

Agriculture Energy Consumption per Commodity 2016

The ERS USDA August 2016 report, "Trends in U.S. Agriculture’s Consumption and Production of Energy: Renewable Power, Shale Energy, and Cellulosic Biomass" by Claudia Hitaj and Shellye Suttles has been published. From it, the area of interest which I'd like to focus on is the "Energy Consumption by Principal Commodity" section.

First, a few key points:
  • Farms consume energy directly in the form of gasoline, diesel, electricity, and natural gas, and indirectly in energy-intensive inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides.
  • In 2014, fuel and electricity constituted 12-16 percent of total cash expenses for rice, cotton, peanut, and poultry producers compared with 7-10 percent for other crop and livestock producers.
  • Indirect energy expenses, in the form of fertilizers and pesticides, ranged from 16-36 percent of total cash expenses for crop producers in 2014.
  • Tillage reduced through conservation or no tillage is associated with lower fuel but greater fertilizer and pesticide expenditures for corn and wheat producers.
  • Reduced tillage is associated with greater fuel but lower fertilizer expenditures for cotton producers.
  • Domestic fertilizer prices have not substantially fallen despite the large decrease in the U.S. natural gas price (natural gas accounts for about 75-85 percent of fertilizer production costs). This is due to the relatively high cost of shipping natural gas, which has resulted in regionalized natural gas markets, as compared with the more globalized fertilizer market.
  • In 2014, the agricultural sector consumed 1,714 trillion Btu of energy, accounting for about 1.74 percent of total U.S. primary energy consumption, and about 60 percent of this energy was consumed directly.
  • In recent years, farms producing wheat, corn, and sorghum, along with cotton and rice, had the highest shares of energy-based inputs.
  • Cotton and rice production have high shares of direct energy inputs: fuel is used to apply chemicals and electricity powers irrigation equipment.
  • Peanut producers had the highest shares of electricity use at 6 percent, followed by poultry and cotton producers at 4 percent.
  • Fertilizer expenses per acre were highest for rice ($89) and corn ($85) producers, while peanut and rice producers spent almost twice as much on pesticides per acre, $82 and $76 respectively.
  • Rice producers had the highest average diesel and gasoline expenses at $61 per acre, compared with $26 per acre for peanuts, $22-$23 per acre for corn, soybeans, and cotton, and $11 per acre for wheat.
  • Natural gas is used in greenhouse heating and grain drying, as well as for operating trucks, tractors, machinery, and irrigation water pumps. Producers of specialty crops, corn, poultry, and cotton had the largest average expenditures per farm for natural gas at $3,105, $2,906, $2,866, and $2,575, respectively.
  • In 2014, fertilizer expenses amounted to 20-22 percent of total expenses for wheat and corn producers, the greatest share among all crop producers.
  • Propane is used for a variety of farm operations, such as for powering irrigation systems, high-temperature dryers, building and water heating, flame weed control, tractors, and standby generators. In 2005, more than half of U.S. farms used propane for many of these purposes. Winter heating in greenhouse and livestock operations was the most common use. In 2014, about 29 percent of energy-related expenses on poultry farms were for LP gas.
Next, I've selected some key graphs from the report:

Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service and USDA, Economic Research Service, 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land Survey. 

Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service and USDA, Economic Research Service, 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land Survey.
Other cash grain includes sorghum, barley, and oats. Other crops include tobacco, edible beans, edible peas, and other legumes. 

Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service and USDA, Economic Research Service, 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land Survey. 

If the subject of energy as it relates to agriculture interests you, there is much more in the report.



Source: http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/2126053/eib159.pdf

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