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Oregon Ag Today Demo 2
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Program: The Agribusiness Update
Date: February 28, 2011

More Efficient Irrigation. I’m Lacy Gray with Today’s Oregon Ag.

Nearly a million dollars in grant money has been awarded to five applicants in Oregon who plan on helping irrigators become more efficient. These projects save energy which saves the grower money, according to Stephanie Page of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

PAGE: Things like replacing a pump so the new pump uses less electricity or converting a diesel pump to an electric pump that is much more efficient, adding technology onto a pump that makes sure the motor only operates at the speed it needs to do the job, which can really save a lot of energy.

The focus of the block grant program is to save energy. But there are additional benefits.

PAGE:  There will definitely be water savings from some of these projects. There could even be fertilizer savings because folks will be able to manage the water applications more efficiently.

The five grants have been awarded to applicants representing growers in specific areas of eastern Oregon. ODA, the Oregon Department of Energy, and the US Energy Department all have played a role in directing the funding. Page says the source of the funds is federal stimulus dollars that hopefully will save energy, save money, and keep the economy going:

PAGE: The hope is that it will encourage people to buy more energy efficient equipment such as a pump or a soil moisture monitoring device- encourage them to invest in some of this equipment that is generally produced and assembled in the United States, and then to hopefully save money on their own operations.

That’s Today’s Oregon Ag. I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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