Wind and Solar Energy in Agriculture

Wind and solar energy are now one of the most rapidly growing energy sources worldwide. With its increasing advantages, wind and solar energy are now helping farmers with not only an additional income but also productive crops and easier methods. In the United States, farmers are producing renewable energy by growing crops such as corn to make ethanol and soybeans to create biodiesel.

Wind Power

Even in the past centuries, wind power was already an important factor to manage types of machinery like water pumps from wells and mill grains, and other crops. Windmills or turbines are the most common applications even in the 20th century. Contributing to green energy, wind energy has no emissions while preserving water, which saves billions of gallons compared to other power generating methods.

Additionally, wind and solar energy give an additional income, especially to the farmers in rural areas, as it is where wind turbines and solar power are best built. The space wind turbines use is only a fraction of the total land, where ranchers and farmers can still use around 95% of the land for farming and grazing livestock.

Eventually, large farms and ranches are rented by the government or large companies to set up wind turbines to sustain the electricity to the masses/consumers. The payments from large companies or wind developers help farmers sustain their incomes when crop prices are low or lesser commodity demand.

During the past decades, wind and solar energy are separately seen as an additional income for farmers and a great clean fuel source; but recent studies show that combining these two types of energy can bring great success to agribusiness.

Solar Energy

Solar Energy is more practical and saves more money for farmers from its farm’s electricity and heating bills. Solar energy can dry crops, heat greenhouses, livestock buildings, and even homes. It provides hot water for livestock operations and cattle/pen cleaning. It further provides power for operations like electric fences, water pumps, and lights.

In the U.S, photovoltaics is widely used in agriculture, which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 330,000 tons a year. It gives farmers a chance to provide more food, energy, and lowers water demand. It serves as solar irrigation to pump water for crops and livestock, refrigeration of agricultural products, electric fencing, grain milling, and poultry lighting.

Solar energy can have a great impact on electricity consumption in yards. If the buildings are designed and built in such a way that heat and daylight can penetrate and optimized, the trapped heat can be used to warm the livestock yards and even homes.

Using solar energy to dry crops is more efficient than the traditional method of open-air drying. It dries crops faster while protecting them from insects, birds, and worms. Easily perishable crops are at an advantage by using solar energy, as it lessens the possibility of it getting spoiled, which eventually leads to longer storage capacity and easier transportation.

The demand for food worldwide is significantly increasing and farmers are at the watch to provide the demands while minimizing global warming. Using wind and solar energy in agriculture can help control climate change while increasing the farmers’ income effectively.