What is a Farm Generator?

A Guide to Farm Generators For Agricultural Purposes

Did you know that agriculture is one of the United States’ top four energy-consuming industries? Electrical automation has exponentially increased agricultural yields and profits all over the world.

But what happens when there is a power outage?

Imagine losing access to your farm’s electrical systems for a day. How about during a heatwave, or in the dead of winter? In these situations, DuroMax is here to provide a quality generator to keep your farm functioning and your assets safe. Aside from emergencies, generators can also be used on your farm in a number of helpful ways.

Read on to learn more about farm generators—from daily use to crisis aversion.

What is a Farm Generator?

A generator is an off-grid energy source that can provide electrical power to a wide variety of machines and devices. They do this by converting mechanical energy from an engine into electricity using an alternator. 

If you’re in the agriculture industry, it is crucial to keep your operations running efficiently no matter what types of weather conditions or power outages may occur.

There are many different types of farm generators to choose from depending on their specific needs:

  • Some generators are portable, while others are permanently installed.
  • Some are powered by propane, natural gas, or gasoline, have dual fuel capabilities or tri fuel capabilities, or require diesel fuel
  • Some automatically kick on as soon as your main power goes out, while some need to be started by hand. 

Power When You Need It: Everyday Uses for Farm Generators

While generators are mostly associated with emergency situations (i.e. when the main power grid goes down), they have plenty of day-to-day uses as well, particularly for farmers.  

Consider the different farming sectors that require electricity (and could therefore benefit from having a farm generator):

  • Dairy farming – Modern dairy farms rely on electrically-powered milking machines to collect milk from their numerous cows. Plus, after this milk is collected, it needs to be stored properly in facilities powered by electricity.
  • Greenhouse operations – Automated greenhouse operations ensure plants and crops receive the right amounts of water, nutrients, and light.
  • Poultry farming – When it comes to raising chickens, a well-ventilated, climate-controlled coop is essential for healthy and safe birds. Not to mention, a poultry farm often utilizes automatic food and water systems. 

If any of these systems were to have a power outage for any period of time, operations would come to a halt and profits would suffer—unless a backup generator was able to provide power.

Another reason why farms can benefit from generators? Off-grid land is generally more affordable, which means your farm might have multiple areas that lack access to electricity. A farm generator makes it possible to run reliable power to every square inch of your land.

What can this mobile power be used for?

Care for Livestock Far from Home

There are a lot of reasons you let your livestock out to graze. Maybe raising animals free-range is part of your core ethos. Maybe you’re using goats to clear away brush and bramble. Whatever the reason, livestock sometimes needs to be taken beyond the reach of even an industrial-length extension cord.

Try hooking up a portable generator to a water pump in a remote paddock. You’ll make the most of that off-the-grid land, and keep your livestock watered and comfortable.

When choosing a generator for this purpose, consider the following questions:

  • How many pumps will you be operating?
  • Will you be heating or cooling the water?
  • How many hours a day will the pump be active?
  • Are your livestock easily startled or disturbed by the sound of machinery?

Power for Farm Maintenance and Side Projects

Even if your entire farm is automated, there will likely come a time when you need access to power on the go. Portable generators are perfect for construction projects, maintenance, and odd jobs in those hard-to-reach places.

With a portable generator on hand, you can power your tools in order to complete tasks like:

  • Clearing fallen trees
  • Repairing fences
  • Hanging signs with ease

Be Prepared with a Generator: Three Emergency Scenarios

No one enjoys thinking about worst-case scenarios, but when it comes to your farm, you know the benefits of being prepared far outweigh the upfront discomfort and costs. And the truth is, power outages happen. There are countless possible reasons why a backup generator might be needed, especially when preparing for hurricane season or other natural disasters.

While you, as an individual, might be able to weather a few days without electricity, odds are, your farm cannot.

Good information is the best defense against disaster. A quality farm generator is a close second. So, understanding the best time of year to buy a generator  as well as going over a few emergency scenarios to see how a farm generator can be used to avert a crisis are both important. 

#1 An Automated Dairy Farm

When a tornado took out the power lines that connected Great Valley Dairy to the grid, newbie milker Ingrid feared the worst. The last farm she worked at didn’t have any backup generators, and she assumed Great Valley was the same.

However, after the lights blinked on and the machinery whirred back to life, Ingrid’s manager took her on a tour of Great Valley’s generators. He explained the vital importance of each one, their peak and continuous ratings, and why they were matched with the equipment they powered.

Due to this backup power, all of the farm’s essential systems remained online during the outage:

  • The bulk milk tank was properly refrigerated, preventing a massive loss in yield and revenue.
  • The sophisticated watering and feeding system ensured that Great Valley’s hundreds of cows were cared for.
  • The lights stayed on, so employees could work safely and efficiently.
  • Only one of the farm’s two milking robots was hooked up to a backup generator, but Ingrid and her fellow milkers were able to fill in the gaps manually.

Everyone had to work overtime during the two-day blackout, but every cow was milked, fed, and happy. Seeing the importance of farm generators, Ingrid took on generator maintenance as one of her regular duties.

#2 An Organic Operation

Orville Organic Florals is a small operation without any automated systems, so Mr. Orville wasn’t concerned about losing power to his farm. Most of his employees live on the property and can manage daily work with minimal losses, even without access to electricity.  

However, Mr. Orville changed his mind when the power went out just before team dinner one night. Although the flowers would be fine, his employees faced a night of hard work with empty stomachs. Not to mention, they’d be working in a dark greenhouse—a condition far from ideal.

Luckily, the outage was momentary, and the power kicked back on only minutes later. Mr. Orville’s first priority was getting his team fed. His second was researching reliable power generators. He ended up purchasing a 13,000-watt generator with a built-in carbon dioxide meter.

Later, when a thunderstorm and rain rolled through and took the power out for an extended period of time, Orville Organics didn’t miss a beat. If you were wondering, if you can run a generator in the rain , the answer is yes, with proper protection. This new generator provided more than enough power to keep the harvest going. Mr. Orville was confident that his workers were comfortable and safe too, thanks to the CO² meter. Owning a generator also lowered his insurance rates—a win-win-win.

#3 A Climate-Controlled Coop

Hobbyists Jodie and Paul knew for years that they wanted to raise chickens. They did their research before they took the leap and outfitted their coop with:

  • A powered ventilation system
  • A heater

They also selected a reliable generator to keep it all running, just in case they ever lost power.

Apart from regular maintenance checks and a couple of backyard barbeques, the generator was rarely used for the first few months. Paul sometimes joked about their “six-hundred-dollar footrest”, but Jodie insisted that they made the right decision. Later, a blizzard proved her right.

Paul and Jodie’s neighborhood was buried under three feet of snow and went without power for over a week. However, their chickens remained safe and snug in their coop for the duration. Paul and Jodie were even able to provide their neighbors with fresh eggs during a difficult time.

And, because Paul and Jodie also bought a generator for their own home, they were able to stay just as cozy as their chickens.

Be Ready for Anything with DuroMax

From small operations to major producers, a quality generator is an asset on any farm. And at DuroMax, we’re dedicated to quality.

DuroMax generators are built right. They’re reliable, powerful, and come in a wide variety of wattages to suit any energy need. Whether you’re charging your walkie with a dual-fuel digital inverter model or emergency prepping with a 15,000-watt powerhouse, our generators have you covered.

Start protecting and powering your farm today, with DuroMax. Browse through our selection of propane and gas generators to find the perfect machine for you.