Reclaiming Land

Saturday 28 November 2020
28 Nov 2020 Posted by SR Editor Comments: 0 Views: 
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Large-scale solar arrays have the potential of taking thousands upon thousands of acres out of agricultural production
This is part of a great commentary by a retired farmer.

Large-scale solar arrays have the potential of taking thousands upon thousands of acres out of agricultural production nationwide. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced $1.5 billion in grants and incentives for large-scale solar arrays developed in New York. Taxpayers are now funding both farmland protection and solar developments that will remove thousands of acres from agricultural production.

In what universe does it make sense to spend taxpayer dollars to preserve valuable farmland, and at the same time we are spending taxpayer dollars to convert valuable farmland to other uses? What is even more troubling is the fact that the solar developers choose to use our best croplands for their projects.

The conversion of these highly productive soils will cause a shift of food production to less-productive lands. This will require more acreage, more fuel, more fertilizer, more seed, more pesticides, more water and more labor to produce the same amount of food and fiber. Add to this the fact that the world will need 50% to 70% more food and fiber in 30 years and we have a real problem.

This leads to another environmental issue: If we continue to develop our best cropland, where will our food and fiber come from? Will this accelerate the conversion of South American rainforest and African savannah to cropland? Will the more fragile, highly erodible land in our country that has been taken out of production be converted back to cropland? Will our forest land be returned to agricultural production as it was in the 19th century? What value do we place on our natural, wild, undeveloped lands for human, mental and physical well-being?

You can read the entire article HERE: