REAP Helps Growers Get Energy Efficient

The Rural Business–Cooperative Service invited agricultural producers and rural small businesses to apply for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants and loan guarantees on January 20, 2012. REAP is designed to assist applicants install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.

Renewable energy systems can include solar electric, solar thermal, wind, geothermal, biomass, blender pumps and anaerobic digestion systems. Energy efficiency improvement systems can include lighting improvements, insulation, electric motor replacements and other energy efficiency improvement projects as outlined in an energy audit.

Grants are available on a competitive basis for up to 25 percent of the eligible project costs and loan guarantees are available for up to 75 percent of the eligible project costs. Combination grant and loan guarantee applications cannot exceed 75 percent of eligible project costs.

Nationally, funding available in Fiscal year 2012 will be used to support REAP grants totaling $12,500,000 and loan guarantees totaling $48,500,000. The funds available for Fiscal Year 2012 are reduced substantially from previous years resulting in increased competition for the limited funding available.

As in previous years, increased emphasis is being placed on projects which are requesting less than $20,000. Congress has authorized a specific budget allocation to fund these smaller projects which provide energy efficiencies or can produce renewable energy for the applicant.

Additional emphasis is being placed upon loan guarantees. The loan guarantee program can be a great benefit to a lender looking to reduce their risk exposure while increasing their income. For a borrower, the benefits include access capital on better rates and terms. This results in an improved cash flow and a successful business.

For more information or if you are interested in pursuing a grant or loan guarantee for the Rural Energy for America Program, please go to

Leave a Reply

More From Structures & Equipment...
Stephanie Whitehouse-Barlow, Peace Tree Farm

October 6, 2015

Generation Y’s Reluctance To Garden Linked To Fear Of Failure

The Rookie Gardener is easily spotted at a garden center by her nervous and unsure energy that’s as glaring as a scarlet letter, or by his exuberant, self-assured confidence that is only otherwise seen at a college fraternity party. They are our industry’s enigma, our Kryptonite, the treasure chest we cannot open. The Rookie Gardener’s reluctance to garden isn’t from our industry’s lack of targeted marketing or encouragement but from Millennials’ Fear of Failure (FOF). It is obvious that failure is a part of life, but we as a generation have been programmed to not expect or accept failure. Since early childhood, we were encouraged to always win, to do our absolute best at school every day, to beat the competition. “Focused on getting the grades or winning the game, these children have internalized the pressure, (which) paralyzes kids in their ability to take risks,” writes Holly Korbey in an […]

Read More
CropKing Fall Workshop Schedule 2015

October 6, 2015

CropKing’s Grower Workshops Offer Training On Growing In Controlled Environments

The next two workshops take place Oct. 9-10 in Oregon and Nov. 6-7 in South Carolina. Space is limited, so sign up quickly.

Read More

October 6, 2015

NASA Scientists To Discuss Indoor Agriculture Innovations That Could Be Used On Mars

The University of Arizona’s Controlled Environmental Agriculture Center (CEAC) will host Dr. Jacklyn Green, CEO and founder of Agate Biosciences, and Dr. Roger Kern, president and founder of Agate Biosciences: Science & Systems Engineering, on October 30, as part of its seminar series. Both Green and Kern are former NASA scientists and engineers, and they will discuss their continuing efforts to develop technology and seek innovations to address issues concerning urban indoor agriculture, with a potential for application on Mars. Through the creation of Agate Biosciences LLC, Kern and Green have turned their attention to earth-bound issues of food production, to provide advanced technologies for plant nutrition, biosecurity and the undertaking of scientifically based research in greenhouse design and controls systems, and in plant health under controlled environment agriculture. A recent NASA news release reports that the Mars Rover 2020 mission is planned to deliver an extensive array of instruments designed to explore the habitability […]

Read More
Latest Stories

September 28, 2015

11 Products For Precision Greenhouse Growing

These new options in equipment, automation, structures, lighting and software are designed to help growers run their operations with efficiency and accuracy and at a lower cost.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

September 25, 2015

Growers Solve Problems With Precision Horticulture

My dad’s hands are covered with sores, nicks, scratches and bruises. It’s the ongoing reward — or drawback — of his ingenuity, as he’s constantly wrenching on equipment or constructing new innovations that will help him get work done more efficiently on the farm. As a kid, I would always marvel at his toughness, and how he would barely notice a new wound, shrugging it off as he kept working, driven to complete his work and bring his idea to fruition. He’s still at it today, and his hands tell the story of the many projects he’s completed over the years. I’m guessing many of you can relate, and your hands look similar to my dad’s. After all, ingenuity is the name of the game in this business, where creative thinking to solve problems often leads to revolutionary solutions that automate production, save labor and cut costs. That’s easy to […]

Read More

September 24, 2015

AgriNomix Helps Keepsake Plants Cut Labor Costs With Au…

Keepsake Plants reduced labor for trimming Hydrangeas from 60 people to 28 by automating the process with AgriNomix Venti Trimmers.

Read More

September 24, 2015

4 Dramm Products That Put The Precision Into Growing

When accuracy counts, the right tool makes all the difference. New products from Dramm put tools in growers hands to get the job done efficiently.

Read More

September 24, 2015

How Spring Meadow Nursery’s Custom Sorting Machine Kee…

The Michigan-based nursery uses automation to cut apart trays of immature plants and regroups them into new trays of similar-sized plants.

Read More
Figure 3. Sole-source lighting in a multi-layer vertical growing system utilizing hydroponics for vegetable production.

September 23, 2015

MSU Offers New Greenhouse Lighting Online Course For Gr…

  Michigan State University Extension is now offering a non-credit, pre-recorded online course on greenhouse and horticultural lighting. The lighting course is intended for greenhouse and ornamental plant growers and others interested learning about the fundamental concepts about how plants respond to light quality, quantity and in duration. It provides introductory to moderately-challenging content primarily based on experiments performed at Michigan State and Purdue Universities. This is the second course in the College of Knowledge Online series offered on the national Extension website. The first course was Floriculture Root Zone Management, also available online. What Growers Will Learn From Taking This Course The 3-hours of pre-recorded lecture and video demonstrations are divided into seven units. The first and second units cover the properties of light and its importance for plant growth and development. The third unit discusses how light quality influences stem extension and flowering. The fourth unit of the course teaches […]

Read More
ArmstrongGrowers Hanging Basket Area

September 22, 2015

Sole-Source Lighting In Horticulture: Bedding Plant Plu…

Researchers determine how sole-source LED lighting can be used effectively for the production of bedding plant seedlings.

Read More

September 18, 2015

Visser North America To Provide Mayer Potting Machines …

Visser North America (NA) will now be the official North American supplier for sales, service and parts provider of Mayer potting machines and equipment. The Mayer premium line of potting machines is the latest addition to the Visser NA lineup, including the NewLux, Logitec Plus and Visser product lines. “Much like our current product lines, Mayer is a leading provider of potting machines and further horticultural equipment worldwide and its brand represents quality in our industry,” says Kevin Vander Ploeg, president of Visser NA. “We believe in providing our customers with the best solution for their operation with ongoing support and service excellence. Naturally, we are pleased to add Mayer to our product line up.” Mayer, a German company manufacturing in Europe and with a global presence, has been designing and manufacturing potting machines since 1967. The Mayer product range includes solutions for the entire process chain from soil preparation to filling of pots/trays […]

Read More
Costa Farms’ new solar panels will offset 493,487 pounds of carbon dioxide annually

September 15, 2015

Costa Farms Ramps Up Sustainability Efforts With Solar …

Costa Farms is seeking to make sustainability a top priority at its headquarters and two other buildings in Miami with the recent construction of new solar panels, which will replace 25 percent of the company's power usage with solar energy.

Read More
Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

September 14, 2015

Golden State Bulb Growers Increases Efficiency With New…

Necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s certainly true for Golden State Bulb Growers. The Moss Landing, Calif., operation, which supplies its Callafornia Calla Lily bulbs to wholesale markets around the world, was in need of a more streamlined and less labor-intensive solution to grade and sort bulbs. So Golden State’s management team got creative and started talking with MAF Industries, part of the MAF-RODA Group that specializes in the design and manufacture of grading, packing, palletizing and handling fresh fruit and vegetable systems. The manufacturer was willing to work with Golden State on the Calla Lily bulb grading and sorting machine design process. This resulted in Golden State Bulb Growers investing $700,000 to purchase the new grading system to better serve the needs of its customers, increasing uniformity and productivity in its Callafornia Callas bulb processing. Investing in the new system has also allowed Golden State Bulb Growers […]

Read More
Figure 1. Mustard microgreens grown under sole-source (SS) lighting using light-emitting diode (LED) arrays.

August 21, 2015

Sole-Source LED Lighting In Horticulture: Microgreens P…

In Part 2 of a four-part lighting series highlighting the multiple uses of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), researchers examine the effects of sole-source LED lighting on microgreen production to achieve the highest quality crop possible in an energy efficient manner.

Read More
Lighting 2015 August Feature Image

August 14, 2015

Customizing Crop Foliage Color With LEDs: Ornamental Cr…

Do you find that your purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) crop is often green to light purple? What if we told you there is a quick solution to enhance and darken the foliage of purple fountain grass or other floriculture crops? In this second article of a four-part series highlighting the multiple uses of high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs), we will discuss our research methodology and findings for enhancing the foliage color of ornamental crops with end-of-production (EOP) supplemental lighting (SL) in the greenhouse. Many ornamental crops that greenhouse and nursery growers produce vary in size, shape and color. These variables are often influenced by the growing environment. For example, leaf color (intensity, distribution or both) of ornamental crops such as purple fountain grass is a key component that often influences the consumer’s perception and ultimately an impulse purchase. The red or purple pigmentation of purple fountain grass leaves is […]

Read More
WaterPulse retail mats can help cut water use in retail settings

August 10, 2015

Technology Provides Solutions For Growing In Drought

In April, California Gov. Jerry Brown directed the State Water Resources Control Board to institute reductions in cities and towns across the state with the goal of reducing water usage by 25 percent. The announcement comes following the lowest snowpack ever recorded in the High Sierra. It was the first time in state history that action was taken to implement mandatory water restrictions. In May, the farmers in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta agreed to reduce their water use by 25 percent in exchange for assurance that they will not face further curtailment during the June to September growing season. Their proposal was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board. Growers who participate in the program could opt to either reduce water diversions under their riparian rights by 25 percent, or fallow 25 percent of their land. Given these conditions, growers and retailers are in need of methods and […]

Read More
Heating Roundup Feature Image

August 1, 2015

5 New Heating Options For The Greenhouse

Five heating systems manufacturers share their latest and greatest products. Tubing And Aluminum Heat Pipes (BioTherm) From Megatube and MicroClimate tubing to DuoFin and StarFin aluminum heat pipe, BioTherm is dedicated to providing heat solutions that can withstand the toughest greenhouse environments. The MegaTube and MicroClimate tubing options are easy to install and ideal for bench or floor heating. The tubing has a conductive heating surface that allows for maximum root-zone heating. The DuoFin and StarFin aluminum pipe options are great for perimeter heating and melting snow trapped in the greenhouse gutter. It can also be useful for bench heating. Both pipe options provide gentle, radiant heat for plants and don’t require welding. Infinite Energy 2 Condensing Boiler (Delta T Solutions) With up to 98 percent efficiency, the IE2 condensing boiler boasts a stainless steel heat exchanger with larger waterways to ensure maximum heat transfer. The product’s design ensures flexibility while […]

Read More
Heating Feature image

July 27, 2015

In Hot Pursuit Of Heating Trends For The Greenhouse

From biomass boilers to hydronic-heating systems, growers have a range of options to fit their operation’s unique needs. Here’s what five manufacturers had to say about the latest trends.

Read More
lighting feature

June 29, 2015

Customizing Crop Foliage Color With LEDs: Red Leaf Let…

In the first of a four-part series highlighting the multiple uses of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), researchers share how end-of-production supplemental lighting with LEDs enhances red leaf lettuce color prior to harvesting and shipping.

Read More

June 28, 2015

Keep Your Cool In The Greenhouse

Summer is in full swing, and that means growers need to worry about protecting plants and greenhouse employees from brutal temperatures. No sweat! These product manufacturers have offerings to help beat the heat.

Read More
Greenhouse Electrical System

June 23, 2015

Don’t Let Your Greenhouse Electrical System Come …

The size of a greenhouse operation is one of the biggest factors when determining the type of electrical system to install. Part 2 of "Don't Let Your Electrical System Come Up Short" covers locating electrical wires, meeting electrical load demands and environmental considerations.

Read More