On-Farm Energy Production

Energy production and its future are among the most actively debated issues.  Agriculture is a key component in addressing these issues.  The On-farm Energy Production survey was introduced in 2009 to examine a segment of agriculture’s on-farm contributions.

On-Farm Energy Production is a census of operations reporting any energy production activity on their farm or ranch on the census of agriculture.  This is supplemented by a public list of operations with methane digesters.


The On-Farm Energy Production publication is released in February, two years after the census release.  It is a part of a series of publications from the census follow-on studies.  It is catalogued as Volume 3, Special Studies, Part 4.  Data are provided for most items by state and the U.S. with some suppressions to protect the confidentiality of individual operations.

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Program Content

The On-Farm Energy Production survey covers electricity produced using wind turbines, solar panels, and manure/methane digesters plus utilities savings, electricity sold onto the grid, and other financial information.


The On-Farm Energy Production data provide detailed, unbiased information to assess the economic impact and the geographic distribution of on-farm energy production.  In an industry looking to expand, the data are used to guide industry planning and implementation and monitor growth.  The data also form a factual basis for government programs and research funding.


The On-Farm Energy Production survey is a follow-on to the 5-year census of agriculture.   Data are collected for the reference year two years later than the census reference year.


Data are collected by mail, telephone, or personal enumeration.  A first mailing is made to all operations in the sample with an option to respond through the internet.  A second mailing is made to non respondents one month later.  A telephone follow up of operations not responding to the mailings is attempted to maximize response.  In some special cases, personal visits are made.  Sample weights of the reporting operations are adjusted to account for non response.

Related Programs

Census of Agriculture

Last Modified: 05/04/2018