In a previous blog post, we discussed how agricultural engineers can use biomass technology to benefit the farming industry. We also mentioned how biomass energy and fuel make farms more sustainable. In this blog, we’ll talk more in-depth on exactly how biomass products make farms more sustainable. Read on to discover what you can do to make your farm more successful and environmentally friendly.
1. Farms Can Grow Fuel Sources Without Sacrificing Space for Crops
Biomass refers to any carbon-based product or material. So essentially, most items you find on farmland count as biomass. When farmers till the ground to prepare it for planting, they have tons of grasses, weeds, and other plant life that they have to get rid of.
Farmers grow biomass fuel sources everywhere on their land already. They won’t have to waste valuable space for crops just to produce a viable fuel source. All they have to do is gather up the waste from tilling and preparing the ground for planting.
And if the farm houses trees, fallen branches, broken limbs, and dead stumps are also perfect for woodchips-a highly popular biomass fuel source.
2. Farmers Can Burn Fuel Sources to Power Their Farms
Again, because farms already produce easy-to-replenish fuel sources in massive quantities, they can use those sources to power their buildings. For example, a farmer could burn wood chips or wood pellets to heat up their homes or to keep barns warm. Warmer buildings are better to work in, and warmer barns keep livestock safer during colder months.
Additionally, farmers could burn other biomass fuel sources to provide energy that they can then use as electricity to light up an interior.
3. Energy Companies Can Use the Extra Energy Farms Produce
Because farmers have so many fuel sources readily available, they can produce the energy they need to have a functional farm. But if the farms produce more energy than they use, energy companies could find ways to pay farmers for that excess energy. The energy companies might then use the biomass energy to provide electricity to other buildings in the area.
So not only does biomass energy allow a farm to run off of natural, renewable energy, but it could also provide farmers with additional income. In turn, the farmers can use that extra money to purchase more seed, livestock, or equipment to improve the farm as a whole.
4. Farmers Can Make Their Soil More Nutrient Rich
Some biomass products break down so much that they can’t be used as a fuel source. For example, when some biomass products are burned, they crumble into ash. If properly processed, the ash can then take the place of fertilizer on a farm. The ash contains more easily digestible and accessible nutrients that crops need to grow.
If farmers were to use biomass ash to make their soil more nutrient rich, they may see higher crop yields each season.
5. Farmers Can Use Biomass Energy to Extend a Crop’s Availability
On that same note, farmers can even use biomass energy to extend how long a crop stays in season. For example, a farmer could use a biomass furnace or boiler to heat a greenhouse. Because the greenhouse stays warm despite the weather outside, the farmer can plant crops sooner-resulting in an earlier harvest.
Additionally, farmers could plant crops at the same time they would normally. This farming method allows them to extend a crop’s availability, making food sources available months sooner and for longer periods of time. And the longer a crop is available for purchase, the more income a farmer can make-and the more they can do with their farm overall.
If you want to make your farm more sustainable, talk to a company that offers equipment you can use to dry your biomass fuel sources. Then, find ways to use those products to power and support your farm.
For more information about the biomass industry or how biomass products can help you, read through the rest of our blog.