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Solar farms raise significant questions

The Around Farm Progress podcast digs into the contentious issue of putting solar panels on farmland.

There’s a topic gaining growing interest in the country: The rise in placement of solar panels on farmland. Farmers leasing their land to solar companies for often decades raises question about acreage tied up outside of production and other issues. In the latest episode of Around Farm Progress, solar panels on farms get a closer look.

Recently Ginger Rowsey, Delta Farm Press, connected with some farmers who have taken on solar leases for their operations to learn more about the issues involved. What she found shows that these panels on farms raise as many questions as they answer. While providing a solid long-term income source for farmers, there are other issues that arise from the practice.

Related: Harvesting the sun

Rowsey discusses those issues, and some many are still grappling with, as interest in placing solar panels on farms continues to rise thanks to a green energy push by the Biden Administration. But what does taking farmland out of production mean? And what about a farmer’s or landowner’s property rights? These are some of the questions explored in this episode.

If you’re interested in leasing land for solar power, there are some points to consider from this conversation. And if you’re against solar power, you might want to take action with local officials to manage regulation surrounding these installations. Rowsey notes one major operation has made a major commitment to placing solar panels on farms.

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The podcast Around Farm Progress goes live online by 3 p.m. Central time each Friday and will engage editors from around the country as well as experts in our industry. You can listen to this week's episode above or subscribe using your favorite podcast service just search "Around Farm Progress" and subscribe so you don't miss an episode.

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Comments or questions? Just send a note to willie.vogt@farmprogress.com.

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