Farm aid

Farmers wanting to buy renewable energy systems and become more energy efficient may be interested in applying for loans and grants available through USDA Rural Development. The agency is offering loans of up to $25 million and grants up to $500,000 for renewable energy systems and $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Grants up to $50,000 are available for feasibility studies to install renewable energy systems.

Among the types of projects that could be funded are wind, solar, biomass, methane digestion, geothermal, hydrogen, and hydropower projects, as well as irrigation and motor upgrades, grain dryer system replacements, lighting and insulation projects.

In 2008, Comstock Seed in Gardnerville took advantage of funding to install a 9.9 kilowatt solar system that’s estimated to save them 89 percent of their yearly energy consumption.

The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31. Submit to Herb Shedd, Rural Energy Coordinator, 1390 S. Curry St., Carson City NV 89703. For more information, call Shedd at (775) 887-1222 x 19, and visit