Energy efﬁciency is critical to poultry producers, especially for those who have dated production houses, which usually lack more efﬁcient design and construction features of newer production houses. Given the competitive markets in today’s poultry industry, producers need to reduce their energy usage and increase their production to remain competitive. Energy costs consume about 20 percent of a broiler producer’s total return. Meanwhile, energy costs continue to climb while the prices paid to producers have remained relatively stable.
Section 9006 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) launched the Renewable Energy and Energy Efﬁciency Improvements Grants Program, designed to assist agricultural producers and small rural businesses with installing renewable energy systems and making their facilities more energy efﬁcient. Producers lacked the resources to prepare grants and most were unaware of the Section 9006 grant program. The Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development Council saw an opportunity to assist some of the state’s nearly 3,000 poultry producers in making their agricultural operations more energy efﬁcient.