Choice: food or solar fields

   #1  

DutchInNZ

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
45
Tractor
Zetor 5745
Being assertive on climate change is one thing, but tens of thousands of acres of food-producing farming land going lost because of assumptions from predictive computer models? Under a solar field grows nothing, not even weeds. But of course, food can then be brought in by ship from Asia

Not one of all these climate models, when tested against historical climate data of the last century, gives a better result than 50%. Computer models can't even predict the stock exchange over one whole week.

 
   #2  

Roadworthy

Elite Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
2,742
Location
Southeast Washington
Tractor
Kubota L2501 HST,
Has anyone plugged into the equation what happens when after 2035 only electric new cars will be available? Of course with the Colorado River putting less water behind the dams it may free up thousands of acres in farmland to become solar energy sources. Hmmm, I wonder where we'll get all the lithium for the batteries and who will handle the waste stream of production and recycling. It's all above my pay grade to ponder but I'm sure the government will solve all the problems.
 
   #3  

Mtsoxfan

Silver Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
226
Location
Newark Vermont
Tractor
New Holland TC29D
Just like the push into EV's, there is a growing sector of "farming", test tube food. Snicker if you will, I doubt I'll see it in my lifetime, but scifi is here already with flying cars, self driving cars etc. Food has been worked on in labs for years. When will that timing be right?
 
   #4  

Oaktree

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
3,439
Location
Coös, N.H.
Tractor
Kioti LK3054xs
Just like the push into EV's, there is a growing sector of "farming", test tube food.
I tried some of that vegetarian manufactured "meat" (Beyond, I think) a year or so ago. Once was enough. It was nasty, neither taste nor texture even vaguely resembled meat.
 
   #8  

dirttoys

Platinum Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
529
Location
Ozarks
Tractor
ac 170 bobcat 773 tak 235
Being assertive on climate change is one thing, but tens of thousands of acres of food-producing farming land going lost because of assumptions from predictive computer models? Under a solar field grows nothing, not even weeds. But of course, food can then be brought in by ship from Asia

Not one of all these climate models, when tested against historical climate data of the last century, gives a better result than 50%. Computer models can't even predict the stock exchange over one whole week.

Good question. Life is funny, pendulums swing, what goes up must come down........

We live in interesting times. I think (hope) we live in a country that at the end of the day, rewards contributions while respecting individual rights. We see news all the time that contradicts that belief, but, over 250 years, we have pulled back to reality enough to survive and thrive, I hope we continue for a while.

Best,

ed
 
   #9  

bcp

Super Star Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
11,786
Location
SW WA
Tractor
Kubota BX2360
Not always either-or.

solar-farming.jpg


In the desert.

Bruce
 

Oz_Kioti

Bronze Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
69
Location
SE Qld, Australia
Tractor
Kioti RX8030
Build 'em in deserts? Nah, not here - that's too far from the population centres hugging the coastline. Put 'em in good farmland - much more convenient!

Solar farms - Oz style.jpg
 

dodge man

Super Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
8,550
Location
West central Illinois
Tractor
JD 2025R
Back when Bill Clinton was president they apparently had money to burn. They implemented a farm program called CREP. It stood for conservation reserve enhance program. It was permanent set aside. You couldn’t farm, log it, mow it, just walk on it and hunt on it. As in NEVER. As a rule it was meant to keep silt out of the major rivers but it spread to smaller rivers when participation wasn’t big enough.

People often got paid through the CREP program a lot more than they paid for the ground. I wonder how long before the government pays these landowner to go back and start farming it.
 

MossRoad

Old Timer
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Messages
51,579
Location
South Bend, Indiana (near)
Tractor
Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year
What I find interesting is the adamant feelings by most that a person should be allowed to do with their own land what they want to do, without government interference. Yet when said person (usually farmers) leases their land to solar or wind projects, the same people are outraged, and want government to stop it.

You can't have it both ways, folks.
 

Rebeldad1

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,452
Location
Hughett Bend Washington
Tractor
Kioti Tractor, John Deere Mower,New Holland Mini Excavator
Solar and farming can work quite well together. It just takes a little planning. When we get the green light that solar is good then I think we will see a lot of planning of where to use it.
Warehouses and stores with huge unobstructed roofs. Farms with unusable land.
Windows in tall buildings using solar windows (yes they exist).
Solar roofing material for homes. And... when we see how much rebuilding our very old grid systems maybe big utility companies will start embracing home solar systems that put excess power back in the grid.
 

fishdrivel

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
310
Location
Western Georgia
Tractor
Kubota B2910
Has anyone plugged into the equation what happens when after 2035 only electric new cars will be available? Of course with the Colorado River putting less water behind the dams it may free up thousands of acres in farmland to become solar energy sources. Hmmm, I wonder where we'll get all the lithium for the batteries and who will handle the waste stream of production and recycling. It's all above my pay grade to ponder but I'm sure the government will solve all the problems.
California utilities is already saying they do not have the capacity to provide enough electricity during times of need.
They are now considering burning the excessive amount of natural gas that is already in storage.
Yes, people have already determined what will happen when everybody plugs in their cars- not pretty.
The lithium will have to come from open-pit mining.
Won't that be swell for the environment!
As far as what to do with the old batteries, somebody better start working on that! They do not have a plan.....

 

5030

Super Star Member
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
14,806
Location
Somewhere, but not there....
Tractor
M9000 HDCC3 M9000 HDC
Being assertive on climate change is one thing, but tens of thousands of acres of food-producing farming land going lost because of assumptions from predictive computer models? Under a solar field grows nothing, not even weeds. But of course, food can then be brought in by ship from Asia

Not one of all these climate models, when tested against historical climate data of the last century, gives a better result than 50%. Computer models can't even predict the stock exchange over one whole week.

I see Putin is cutting off your neighbor's electricity this weekend. Finland is about to become dark.
 

shooterdon

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
3,029
Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
I do not worry about stuff like this anymore. It is all about money and votes. Anyone who says they know the answer (always based on science...LOL) is another liar.

What is the worst that can happen? A billion people die of hunger? They have to kill people off somehow...viruses or wars work too. The oceans rise and destroy coastal cities...wow a world without New York or LA...what a travesty.

I know a family that farms over 2000 acres for horse hay. They could grow food but those silly horse people pay a huge premium for good hay. Why feed people when it makes more sense to feed horses?

There is plenty of food and it is cheap if you shop right.
 

ljjhouser

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
869
Location
Midwest
Tractor
Kubota L4701
Interesting videos. And some interesting management and construction ideas.

But I think a lot of the solar panel/ag production depends on one major factor. TRUST. I haven't found many farmers that place a lot of trust in the gov regulations. What are the farmer's option when promises and policies are changed after the attempt does not produce well.
 

lman

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
1,568
Location
Indiana
Tractor
New Holland 3040, New Holland 1530, Oliver 1850
I do not worry about stuff like this anymore. It is all about money and votes. Anyone who says they know the answer (always based on science...LOL) is another liar.

What is the worst that can happen? A billion people die of hunger? They have to kill people off somehow...viruses or wars work too. The oceans rise and destroy coastal cities...wow a world without New York or LA...what a travesty.

I know a family that farms over 2000 acres for horse hay. They could grow food but those silly horse people pay a huge premium for good hay. Why feed people when it makes more sense to feed horses?

There is plenty of food and it is cheap if you shop right.
Nothing wrong with some nice lean horse steaks.
 

fishdrivel

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
310
Location
Western Georgia
Tractor
Kubota B2910
Not to worry, California has it all figured out!
They shut off the water to California Valley farmers to save the water for the Delta smelt. It is a tiny fish and there are probably five of them left. I'd love to eat one, if I get a chance!
Anyway, The dry, flat useless farm land is not growing food anymore so they should be able to find all the solar field acres they need there.
They should be able to get all the lithium they need by raping the indian reservations. We don't need beef either. Go Vegan! If you can grow the vegetables somewhere else! Beef farts are destroying California anyways.....
 

Hay Dude

Super Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
9,467
Location
The Corrupt Rust Belt
Tractor
Case-IH MX-270, MF7495, Kubota M135XTDSC, Kubota M126XTDC, Kubota F3680, Kubota ZD331
Solar and farming can work quite well together. It just takes a little planning. When we get the green light that solar is good then I think we will see a lot of planning of where to use it.
Warehouses and stores with huge unobstructed roofs. Farms with unusable land.
Windows in tall buildings using solar windows (yes they exist).
Solar roofing material for homes. And... when we see how much rebuilding our very old grid systems maybe big utility companies will start embracing home solar systems that put excess power back in the grid.

I bet if they knocked down North Philly and put solar panels there, they could get more energy from the sun and get rid of some crime infested slums.

Funny how once the faculty lounge ivy leaguers gets an idea, it always gets guinea pigged by the rural people.
Prisons, Nuke plants, solar fields, landfills, trash recycling, chemical plants, ordinance testing, etc.
 
Last edited:

fishdrivel

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
310
Location
Western Georgia
Tractor
Kubota B2910
Not to worry, California has it all figured out!
They shut off the water to California Valley farmers to save the water for the Delta smelt. It is a tiny fish and there are probably five of them left. I'd love to eat one, if I get a chance!
Anyway, The dry, flat useless farm land is not growing food anymore so they should be able to find all the solar field acres they need there.
They should be able to get all the lithium they need by raping the indian reservations. We don't need beef either. Go Vegan! If you can grow the vegetables somewhere else! Beef farts are destroying California anyways.....
 

orezok

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Messages
2,683
Location
Mojave Desert, CA
Tractor
Kubota B7800
Last edited:

fishdrivel

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
310
Location
Western Georgia
Tractor
Kubota B2910
Not so. Lithium extracted from water at Salton Sea
Lithium is part of liberal plans. They control the media.
Don't trust what you don't hear!

 

orezok

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Messages
2,683
Location
Mojave Desert, CA
Tractor
Kubota B7800
Lithium is part of liberal plans. They control the media.
Don't trust what you don't hear!

Try to educate yourself

Lithium
 

Rebeldad1

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,452
Location
Hughett Bend Washington
Tractor
Kioti Tractor, John Deere Mower,New Holland Mini Excavator
The lithium will have to come from open-pit mining.
Won't that be swell for the environment!
that far out there wont be lithium batteries. we already are moving ahead towards sodium ion. by then this will be old hat.
As far as what to do with the old batteries, somebody better start working on that! They do not have a plan.....

not to fear there are several major companies that are recycling electric car batteries. Blue oval if i remember.... will have one or two in house.
 

Diggin It

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
10,611
Location
Three Posts A Day. Or less.
Tractor
LS MT125 TLBM
These panels need to be on top of stuff. Industrial plants, shopping centers, office complexes, hospitals, schools, parking garages, etc. There is plenty of acreage available that way and it's a lot closer to the places of use.

The shade under them would help keep the buildings from being so hot which would help reduce cooling requirements. Plus they could be used to heat water which would also reduce power consumption.

Who goes out into all these farm field areas to shovel snow off the panels?
 

JJT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
1,371
Location
Upstate NY, USA
Tractor
Kubota L3710 HST and a Kubota ZD21 60Pro
I agree all office buildings and big box stores should have solar on the roof. Even parking lots can be solar farms, with simple car ports with solar panel roofs.

The major issue is transmission, the grid is old and max'd out in most places. Sure the desert seems ideal for panels, until you realize there is no grid to push the power where it's needed - the cities.

Dirty panels and panels covered in snow still produce electricity. Today the panels harvest light in the visible and non visible spectrums.

If a farmer can make money on solar, good for him/her. They are farming the sun and the land is getting a chance to rejuvenate.
 

MossRoad

Old Timer
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Messages
51,579
Location
South Bend, Indiana (near)
Tractor
Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year
I parked in a parking garage for well over 20 years. The amount of damage, scraped paint, etc. on the concrete walls tells me that people parking under solar panels would cause excessive damage to the supports. You'd have to build them on pretty stout concrete supports. You'd also have to beef up roofing of most existing structures to handle the added load. Not just the weight of the panels and supports, but it would add a potentially huge wind load. I'd guess that the areas directly below the solar panels on flat roofs would see heavy water loads from rain as well. Rain is spread out on a flat roof. Put solar panel up there and the rain is no longer spread out, it's concentrated, just like where it comes off of your house roof if there's no gutter. All that has to be figured into an installation on an existing structure. New construction would be easier to deal with.
 

Oaktree

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
3,439
Location
Coös, N.H.
Tractor
Kioti LK3054xs
The major issue is transmission, the grid is old and max'd out in most places. Sure the desert seems ideal for panels, until you realize there is no grid to push the power where it's needed - the cities.
I don't know about that. Many of the big hydro dams in the west are out in the middle of nowhere, so the power infrastructure exists. Would seem like those areas would be good places to put solar farms.
 

kenmbz

Elite Member
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
3,577
Location
S.E. PA
Tractor
Massey Ferguson GC1720/Simplicity Regents/Echo CS-490/CS-620
They have a number of parking lots in NJ that have solar and have been in use for over a decade.
Growing high water use crops in Cali never made sense and putting up condos on great PA farmland is sad.

I work in NYC and to miss the art and culture would be a catastrophic loss to the world. And not everyone there is in agreement with current policies.
 

HawkinsHollow

Platinum Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
512
Location
Chattanooga, TN.
Tractor
Branson 3015R
We are going to "technologically advance" the human race into extinction. Mark my words! Been happening since the industrial revolution, won't stop till it ruins this earth for human habitation. We'll all be dead, but it's gonna happen.
 

Oaktree

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
3,439
Location
Coös, N.H.
Tractor
Kioti LK3054xs
We are going to "technologically advance" the human race into extinction. Mark my words! Been happening since the industrial revolution, won't stop till it ruins this earth for human habitation. We'll all be dead, but it's gonna happen.
Care to elaborate? What technology would you like to un-invent if you could? Indoor plumbing? Electricity? Modern sanitation? The wheel?
 

cqaigy2

Super Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2006
Messages
5,826
Location
West Cascades, Washington State USA
Tractor
PT 422
Not to worry, California has it all figured out!
They shut off the water to California Valley farmers to save the water for the Delta smelt. It is a tiny fish and there are probably five of them left. I'd love to eat one, if I get a chance!
Anyway, The dry, flat useless farm land is not growing food anymore so they should be able to find all the solar field acres they need there.
They should be able to get all the lithium they need by raping the indian reservations. We don't need beef either. Go Vegan! If you can grow the vegetables somewhere else! Beef farts are destroying California anyways.....
Taking the water from farmers started along time ago, when they sent it to LA.
 

HawkinsHollow

Platinum Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
512
Location
Chattanooga, TN.
Tractor
Branson 3015R
Care to elaborate? What technology would you like to un-invent if you could? Indoor plumbing? Electricity? Modern sanitation? The wheel?
Not sure I mentioned un-inventing anything. I am just making a statement. But if I could remove one thing, Tik Tok.
 

fishdrivel

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
310
Location
Western Georgia
Tractor
Kubota B2910
Taking the water from farmers started along time ago, when they sent it to LA.
Yes, they started sending the water to LA
They have gone a lot further than that now.
Almost no water going to south California Valley Farms below Sacramento.
Most available water is running down river to the Pacific
 

Fixastuff

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
453
Tractor
Massey
The ops post premise is incorrect for my area.

Most of the crops grown around here are not for human consumption. Corn is either for ethanol or feed. Soybeans get used for making plastics. Cotton doesn't taste very good. Peanuts are the only thing grown in large scale that gets eaten by humans as far as I know.
 

PuffyC

Platinum Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
601
Location
Oklahoma
Tractor
Deere 3032e
The problem isn't using farmland to build solar farms, it's that we lack the vision to see beyond centralized power distribution. All that feeds into many people's desire for something - anything - to keep change and progress from happening.
 

Hay Dude

Super Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
9,467
Location
The Corrupt Rust Belt
Tractor
Case-IH MX-270, MF7495, Kubota M135XTDSC, Kubota M126XTDC, Kubota F3680, Kubota ZD331
Saw a picture a while back of a parking lot in Australia where the parking lot had solar panels built above it and cars parked underneath. I'd say that outfit had the right idea
Thats going on all over America, too. Local dairy has their fleet of deliver trucks parked under a huge lean-to roof of solar panels
 

Grumpycat

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
1,228
Location
Madison, AL
Tractor
<TBD>
The problem isn't using farmland to build solar farms, it's that we lack the vision to see beyond centralized power distribution. All that feeds into many people's desire for something - anything - to keep change and progress from happening.
Fortunately for most of us it is still the farmer’s decision as to what crop one chooses to farm. Be it corn, cattle, hay, or electricity.
 

5030

Super Star Member
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
14,806
Location
Somewhere, but not there....
Tractor
M9000 HDCC3 M9000 HDC
Thats going on all over America, too. Local dairy has their fleet of deliver trucks parked under a huge lean-to roof of solar panels
Better than putting a solar installation on fertile ground. I refuse to call them 'solar farms'. Nothing about them even remotely has to do with farming. They are industrial installations.
 

cqaigy2

Super Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2006
Messages
5,826
Location
West Cascades, Washington State USA
Tractor
PT 422
Yes, they started sending the water to LA
They have gone a lot further than that now.
Almost no water going to south California Valley Farms below Sacramento.
Most available water is running down river to the Pacific
Sure they started it, but they continued it thru out the decades, don't be blaming some fish for our taking all the water. Even if there was nothing getting back to the Pacific, those farmers would be in trouble.
 

PuffyC

Platinum Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
601
Location
Oklahoma
Tractor
Deere 3032e
Nothing about them even remotely has to do with farming. They are industrial installations.
Like server farms and cube farms, but not to be confused with farm leagues.
 

LHF2019

Bronze Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2021
Messages
75
Location
NWPA Warren County
Tractor
John Deere 4040, 4430, 2350, 2355, 2950, New Holland TD95D, IH1586
What I find interesting is the adamant feelings by most that a person should be allowed to do with their own land what they want to do, without government interference. Yet when said person (usually farmers) leases their land to solar or wind projects, the same people are outraged, and want government to stop it.

You can't have it both ways, folks.

These panels need to be on top of stuff. Industrial plants, shopping centers, office complexes, hospitals, schools, parking garages, etc. There is plenty of acreage available that way and it's a lot closer to the places of use.

The shade under them would help keep the buildings from being so hot which would help reduce cooling requirements. Plus they could be used to heat water which would also reduce power consumption.

Who goes out into all these farm field areas to shovel snow off the panels?
This is close to being reality for my area. Just over the border in NY there is a large swath of available farm land in the solar panel program. The town is pushing hard because they want the tax dollars. Broke down like this $4000 to be in the program, IF they build $800/acre/year. I also am at risk of losing a field. A 50 acre chunk of hay ground that I rent. I also live in NWPA where we are happy WHEN the sun shines. All NY is waiting is a few pen strokes. What I have heard is substations are planned and ready to go. The issue is these companies just want an easy build. Large plots of ground they can destroy and guess what large plots are utilized for.........lots of ag production. To address the farmer has a right to do what they want is correct IF they own the land. The issue is these farm (my area) only own so much and rent a large portion of their ground so they don't have control and it can severely impact their operations if the landowner of ground they rent turn it into a solar panel waste land.


The rumor is once the panels go in this becomes sheep country.
 
 
Top