Upgrading Farm Structures

Take a good look at the buildings on your farm. If they’re showing their age, they may be draining your bank account. Outdated design and technology is prevalent in many farm structures, increasing operating costs. Making improvements to these buildings could save you lots of money down the road.

Mark Greenwood is a senior vice president of Ag Star Financial Services. He says it’s a matter of looking at a structure as an investment, and finding a return on that investment.

"It could be energy savings, it very well could potentially even be water savings as well. So taking a look at whatever investment they might be making with regards to that overall structure, and figuring out where they can help maximize their returns," says Greenwood.

Have a professional examination of the flow of people and equipment inside and outside of the building, as well as calculations for both air exchanges and optimal temperature range. One of the top ways to get the best bang-for-your-buck is to work on overall energy savings.

"It could be just the overall structure itself where you replace the roof, also potentially using some type of solar energy as well. Insulation. Another thing would be in-floor heat," says Greenwood. "Geo-thermal heat, that actually creates a very energy-efficient environment."

Windows in walls and overhead doors should have double glazing. Weather-strip the doors if they don’t fit tight enough, because air infiltration is one of the largest heat wasters. Add or replace siding if it’s falling apart.

Spend a lot of time out there? Adding a bathroom would increase its worth – and your comfort.