Farm Progress

Solar not so popular in the country

The Farm Progress PANEL finds many respondents don’t see value in solar power in farm country.

Willie Vogt

June 1, 2022

3 Min Read
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CONSIDERING SOLAR: The latest Farm Progress PANEL asked about solar power and installing panels on the farm (or leasing ground for another to do the same). Turns out a solid group of respondents want nothing to do with it.Thomas Winz/Getty Images Plus

To some solar power is an answer to the need for carbon-free electricity. To others it’s an eyesore blot on the land taking the most productive ground to produce power. And it turns out Farm Progress PANEL respondents are more in that second camp though some are interested in installing panels for their own use.

We wanted to get a snapshot of what panel members are thinking when it comes to solar power. Given that most have some land that might be suitable for a panel or more, yet that’s not the sentiment we picked up in this latest survey. And sometimes there are stumbling blocks that outweigh an individual’s situation like one respondent who told us that their local electric cooperative won’t support solar “although I think it would be ok.”

No matter your take on the use of sun to provide electricity, check out these responses. This time out the question was: Many farmers are looking at solar power, how do you see it for your farm?

About 8% of respondents told us they’ve installed solar power for personal use and another 4% have leased some ground to a third party to install a solar system.

Looking ahead we asked how many were considering solar for personal use in the future and nearly one-third answered they were. Having solar power on the farm can be an income source, or a sense of security if the power goes out – especially if combined with a battery backup system, which are also becoming popular.

About 7% reported they were considering leasing ground to a third party to allow solar panel installation. It’s a smaller group and there may be some questions about long-term leases for those panels, including where they need to be located.

The largest group – nearly 50% - chose “We want nothing to do with it” as their answer. We don’t ask why, though one respondent reported that where he lives these systems aren’t that efficient.

Farm Progress is not advocating the use or installation of solar, but these questions provide an interesting snapshot of thought on this subject.

Thanks to everyone who responded to these PANEL questions.

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Let your voice be heard

The Farm Progress PANEL is your chance to share your thoughts on key issues. To take part, start by signing up for our daily mobile text service Farm Progress NOW. To do that text FARM to 20505 and be sure to respond to the text that follows we have a double opt-in system to make sure you're signed up.

Later in one of our daily update texts we'll provide information about how to sign up for the PANEL. And thanks to the respondents for helping us out. And if you’re already part of the PANEL, be sure to respond when that text comes. It just takes a moment to respond with your answer number.

Note: The Farm Progress PANEL is an opt-in SMS-based group. If you are a part of the panel, you may text STOP to unsubscribe.

About the Author(s)

Willie Vogt

Willie Vogt has been covering agricultural technology for more than 40 years, with most of that time as editorial director for Farm Progress. He is passionate about helping farmers better understand how technology can help them succeed, when appropriately applied.

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