LYONS, Neb. — As solar initiatives throughout the nation proceed to increase, solar grazing has emerged as a precious software, in keeping with a brand new truth sheet lately launched by the Center for Rural Affairs.
“Using livestock to manage vegetation at solar sites can enhance site value by keeping land in agricultural use, providing new income streams for local farmers, and adding environmental benefits such as decreased erosion and enhanced soil health,” stated Heidi Kolbeck-Urlacher, senior coverage affiliate for the middle.
Solar grazing is the use of livestock, often sheep, to handle vegetation at solar sites. It takes the place of conventional mowing, providing quite a few environmental and monetary advantages and assembly clear power and agricultural targets concurrently. Solar grazing is taken into account a type of agrivoltaics, which is a time period used to explain combining agriculture with renewable power. Other sorts of agrivoltaics embrace producing hay, berries, greens and honey at solar sites.
“Making the Case for Solar Grazing” addresses the economics and environmental advantages of solar grazing, gives steps for the planning course of, what builders and farmers ought to take into account when growing a contract, the suitable seed mixes to think about, and suggestions to policymakers that incentivize helpful practices.
Kolbeck-Urlacher stated for undertaking builders, contracting with native farmers to use solar grazing as a administration software can scale back operations and upkeep prices.
“Including solar grazing as a goal in the beginning stages of project planning will allow developers to tailor sites for optimal grazing management,” she stated. “Solar grazing is most successful when deployed as part of a strategic, rotational grazing plan.”
To view “Making the Case for Solar Grazing” go to cfra.org/publications.