Area farmers could soon receive money to help them become more energy efficient.
Panhandle farmers and small businesses are getting the opportunity to carry out renewable energy projects. Farmers from both Moore and Sherman counties are benefiting from these grants.
Clyde Jenkins with USDA Rural Development in Amarillo says, "With the Renewable Energy for America Program, the intent is to facilitate energy efficiency projects or renewable energy projects."
The Obama Administration is helping them reduce operation costs and buy energy efficient equipment.
Area farmer Justin Crownover says they are replacing old pumps with more efficient ones. He says, "We're putting electric motors on there to do the pumping. We're generating the electricity from a natural gas engine. And running multiple wells off of one combustion engine so it helps us time wise with the people checking them, maintenance, and allows us to reduce the costs."
Crownover says electric pumps help reduce fuel and labor costs as well as improve efficiency. He says, "We're able to maximize the amount of water we get out of the wells. Because if they speed up, they break suction which is they've pumped all the water out of the hole. And it has to fill back in, and then it pumps. And so we can manage that a lot easier."
The funds for this program are coming from the 2008 Farm Bill. Jenkins says other area farmers have also increased their efficiency in irrigation and reduced costs. He says, "It saves from oil changes, going by the motors to check them on a daily basis, additional fuel for their pickups, to go by and check on them; where with the electricity on the electric motors they can have lights, they can operate them off their cell phone. "
These projects could, in turn, create more jobs and boost the rural economy. To apply for the program, call (806) 468-8600 ext. 4.