Why are landowners interested in Solar?
In solar discussions an idealized pastoral life (bucolic atmosphere) is touted while disregarding what is needed to maintain land ownership
The loss of tobacco and dairy incomes demands alternative enterprises to support “bucolic life.” Let’s review current alternatives to support our community and support rural land ownership. The narrow, erratic margins in corn/soybeans push farmers to plant increasing acreage.
Continuous cash grain rotations reduce the topsoil’s organic matter and accelerate soil erosion. Chemicals applied to row crop fields may contaminate our watersheds.
Recent dramatic swings in cattle and feed prices, along with livestock mortality, make operating a profitable grade cow-calf operation a daunting task. Animal waste, unless carefully managed, can infiltrate our groundwater. Livestock on wet sod creates soil erosion.
Solar farms can replace Kentucky’s lost dairy or tobacco revenue and help support land ownership. Solar farms improve our quality of life by reducing soil erosion and water pollution from animal waste and field chemicals. Solar farms can also provide a substantial revenue stream to support land ownership and help support community services. It is fairly normal for 100 acres in a solar farm to contribute $24,000 yearly to community taxing authorities.
It is important to remember that solar farms do not require natural gas, city water, landfill capacity, rail, river, or extensive roads.