Wind Energy in Agriculture – Powering Farms With Renewable Energy

Wind Energy in Agriculture Powering Farms with Renewable Energy

In today’s climate change-driven world, farmers are turning to renewable energy projects on their land for cost savings and an additional income stream.

Wind turbines may present challenges to some farm operations, but they are an integral part of sustainable farming in the long term. Here are five ways wind energy can benefit farmers and their communities alike.

1. Increased crop yields

Farmers and ranchers throughout the U.S. are using their land to generate renewable energy via wind, solar and anaerobic digestion systems. By doing this they reduce energy costs, generate income streams and secure their businesses for the long term.

Farming with clean energy not only offers financial rewards, but it can also increase crop yields. Studies have revealed that the turbulence created by wind turbines alters the microclimate of fields, stabilizing temperatures and preventing extremes of frost or heat that deplete soil nutrients and damage crops.

Unlike solar farms, wind turbines take up less than half an acre of land, so most farmers can plant crops and graze livestock right near the base of a turbine. This means that 95 percent of farmland surrounding a wind turbine is suitable for agriculture purposes.

2. Increased income

Farming through economic hardship has proved successful for farmers who have discovered that wind energy can increase their incomes. This helps them cut costs, save money and purchase additional farm equipment so they can produce more food.

In some countries, wind turbines can also offer farmers an additional income source by paying them to lease their land. This allows them to continue farming but receive a substantial payment that helps safeguard them financially against unforeseen events.

This extra income could be extremely helpful for struggling farmers, providing a sense of stability and security. It may also provide financial assistance during low-yield crop seasons and enable farmers to cover their operating costs.

3. Increased property value

For some farmers and ranchers, wind energy can boost property value. The income from these turbines often helps cover expenses, save for retirement, or pay for land improvements like repairing erosion on their land.

According to research published in the Journal of Agricultural Economics, farmers often receive payments for hosting wind turbines that go towards funding local schools and infrastructure. Furthermore, this money is often used for building community projects and improving public spaces.

Despite the benefits, some worry about how wind farms may impact property values. While studies looking into property price changes in communities surrounding wind energy facilities have found no significant effect on home prices, one small study does indicate a negative effect.

4. Reduced carbon footprint

Reusing renewable energy to power your farm can help reduce its carbon footprint. Wind energy is a clean, green alternative to conventional fossil-fueled electricity that produces less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than coal or natural gas does.

Wind energy produces around 11 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced, compared to coal’s 80 grams. Furthermore, its lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions are much lower than those from coal or natural gas sources.

Some farmers may worry that wind turbines built near their land will negatively affect nearby crop yields, but research shows it actually benefits local agriculture. Research shows that it increases soybean and corn yields by 1.3% and 2.4%, respectively.

5. Enhanced sustainability

Wind power is an excellent way for farmers to promote sustainability on their farm. By producing renewable energy on-site, they can reduce operating expenses and power equipment that will enable them to produce more crops and boost profits.

Wind power in agriculture can have an environmental benefit by eliminating carbon dioxide from the soil and allowing more sunlight into the crop canopy. It’s essential that farmers who choose to install wind turbines on their property adhere to proper guidelines and respect the environment as much as possible.

Fortunately, farmers can achieve this through partnerships with renewable energy companies who offer technical advice and resources to enhance their efficiency and profitability while decreasing fossil fuel usage.