All over the world, there’s a growing trend of enhancing your crops through solar. From crops to livestock, there are plenty of reasons for why this pairing makes sense. So, what are some of the benefits of solar farming, and how can they be applied to your farm business?
Benefits for Solar + Farming
Agri-voltaics (or Solar Farming) is the process of utilizing solar panels on farmland. Researchers have been studying solar farming extensively in recent years and there are a lot of benefits for integrating agri-voltaics onto the farm, many of which are outlined here. Of course no two farms are created equal, so we’re happy to answer any questions you might have regarding these benefits as they pertain to your specific farm.
- Reduced Electricity Costs: .If you’re concerned about the cost of installing solar farming, we have plenty of ways to work with you to help offset those costs, including solar financing which can immediately reduce your current monthly energy cost without any cash outlay. Once the panels are installed and you’re producing your own energy, your farm’s electric consumption could be cost-free, which would enable you to reinvest that money back into your farm!
- Increased Crop Production: Research conducted on solar farming systems found that there were three factors that significantly affected plant growth and reproduction: air temperatures, direct sunlight and atmospheric demand for water. Farms with solar panels installed resulted in cooler daytime and warmer nighttime temperatures, as well as more moisture in the air; all factors that led to an increase in crop production. One study found that solar farming increased crop production by more than 30%!
- Extended Growing Seasons: In addition to protection from the intensity of the sun, solar farming also protects plants from frost, allowing for longer growing seasons for some crops. Crops that grow under lower drought stress require less water and they won’t wilt as easily during the intense midday heat. As a result, they’re able to photosynthesize longer and grow more efficiently. One study showed a significant increase in late-season growth, with some crops producing 90% more under solar panels than in other areas.
- Water Use Reduction: Due to less direct sunlight on the land, according to some research solar farming resulted in soil moisture remaining approximately 15% higher than non-solar farming land irrigated every other day. Given the natural process of transpiration of the plants, the water emitted is often recycled back into the soil by being captured on the panels, creating a greenhouse-like effect. For farmers in California, this is particularly beneficial due to droughts and long heatwave seasons.
- Shade Structures: For farms where crops are hand-harvested, another benefit to solar farming panels was a cooler working environment and protection from the scorching summer sun. The same goes for added sun protection for livestock sharing their fields with the solar panels.
If you’re in the agriculture business, we want to help you! As a 2nd generation, family-run business, we care deeply about finding ways to help our clients save money by going solar. That’s why we offer FREE solar consultations! We’re experts in working with those in the agricultural industry and offer cash-positive financing options so you can avoid cash outlay and stick to inexpensive monthly payments. Just contact us to schedule a time for our team to visit your farm, so we can help you see what you can be saving on your land!