solar farms

Higher lease rates, escalator clauses offered for solar projects

Developers of solar farms are offering higher and higher annual lease rates — often above $1,500 an acre — with escalator clauses to sweeten the deal, said farmers in a Purdue University survey released on Tuesday. Some 27 percent of farmers who spoke to developers said they were offered at least $1,500 an acre, according to the monthly Ag Economy Barometer.

More farmers expect slowdown in ag exports

Operators of large farms are losing faith in exports as an ever-growing market for U.S. crops and livestock, said a Purdue poll released on Tuesday. Only one-third of farmers surveyed for the monthly Ag Economy Barometer said they expected agricultural exports to increase over the next five years, down from 72 percent in 2020.

Study: In California’s Central Valley, repurposing farmland could save communities

As the water crisis in California’s Central Valley intensifies, farmers are fallowing fields, slashing jobs and hemorrhaging money. But according to a study released this week, some rural towns might be better off abandoning agriculture entirely and repurposing farmland to create better-paying jobs, ease water usage, decrease pollution and preserve landowners’ revenue streams.

California’s San Joaquin Valley looks to solar, not farming, as climate change worsens

California’s San Joaquin Valley will become increasingly difficult to farm as climate change intensifies. But with the right regulations and policies, the state’s multibillion dollar agricultural belt could become something else — a clean energy powerhouse that the state desperately needs. At a panel event on Tuesday, energy professionals and community leaders gave a glimpse of the valley’s potential future — one where alfalfa fields give way to solar farms and carbon is sequestered beneath fallowed orchards. They also acknowledged how daunting an economic transition it would be. No Paywall