A Guide to Farming Friendly Solar

As Vermont continues to seek to invest in sustainable energy, interest in on-farm solar generation has grown. (It's probably no surprise that some of the attributes that make land good for farming also can make it desirable for solar arrays.)  For many communities, this has raised concerns about loss of valuable farm land and impacts to the visual landscape.  Kimberly Hagen of the Center’s Pasture Program worked with Chris Sargent of Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission and Alex DePillis of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, to learn about the considerations that go into combining solar arrays with active farming, and then translated that into a short Guide to Farming-Friendly Solar.  What they found is that this is a fertile area with a great deal of exciting potential to support locally produced food and preserve the working landscape, while addressing energy needs and improving farms’ financial viability.   Here we share a few of the Guide's highlights and recommendations. Preserving the Best Farmland is Key The most significant challenge is balancing the siting needs of solar with the needs of protecting the best and most productive Vermont soils.  Sometimes the ideal location for an installation can be on agriculturally significant soil.  But balance is possible, say the guide’s authors, and they offer a few suggestions for how

All the grazing management tips you need

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