The environmental benefits of electronic feeding versus traditional tractor and wagon feed delivery has caught the attention of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
The group has just announced they will offer $4 million in incentive funding for dairies to reduce emissions related to feeding activities. Most specifically, they aim to “expand the installation of electric feed mixing equipment and reduce the diesel emissions from tractors and other mobile equipment used on Valley dairies,” wrote Milk Producers Council General Manager Kevin Abernathy.
The unanimous vote by the council to support the Dairy Feed Mixing Electrification Program means that dairies in the area have the opportunity to have up to 75 percent of the cost of a new project covered by a grant.
Abernathy shared that the pilot program is a perfect fit for farms considering replacement of diesel feed mixing equipment.
The program was structured around the successes credited to a demonstration project on a Hanford dairy where a diesel tractor-powered feed mixing and delivery equipment were replaced with an electric mixing station. In that example, feed mixing time was reduced from 22 hours per day to less than six, feed mixture quality improved, and diesel fuel consumption was nearly cut in half.