The use of alternative energy sources doubled to 11 percent since Rabobank’s last bi-annual Farm and Ranch Survey was released in April.

“By using alternative energy, U.S producers have found that they can reduce their costs while minimizing their impact on the environment,” said Michael Whitehead, Rabobank food and agribusiness research and advisory executive director.

Additionally, the survey found 64 percent of farmers have taken steps toward sustainable agriculture. For example, U.S. producers are using direct seeding (64 percent), minimizing the use of chemicals (42 percent), and using water conservation practices (22 percent).

“Producers are beginning to see sustainability as a core business practice,” said Whitehead.

Moving forward, while producers are taking steps toward sustainability, Congress debates climate legislation, which could bring about additional change.

With that in mind, if climate legislation is passed, 60 percent of survey respondents (regardless of acreage, revenue and number of employees) said they would alter the steps they are taking toward sustainable agricultural practices.