All things Agriculture

Turbines in our Future?

A closer look at concerns, financial incentives to wind farming.

Planting progress in our area, as with much of the Midwest, is at record pace and the corn is mostly emerged with stands looking excellent. The soybean crop is probably 50% planted.

In our immediate area we have been approached by an energy company to build a wind project. We have a loosely organized group of land owners sharing their thoughts on the project. We as a group have retained legal counsel to ensure we are protected and the contract reflects our needs and concerns.

The issues we have addressed in addition to financial incentives are:

-The ability to use the property outside the immediate footprint of the towers and access roads at the pleasure of the owners;

-The placing of transmission lines --how they might effect our present and future tile lines and tillage;

-Bonding for decommissioning cost at the end of the agreement and terms of how to eliminate the roads and concrete foundations.

The underlying thought is that this is a long term commitment that will outlive many of our lifetimes. Bottom line is that we own and control the property and by that virtue we have a responsibility to the next generation, who will have to live with our decision along with the benefits and also the consequences.

I recently attended the Farm Bill forum in Des Moines Iowa. House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson, D-Minn., and Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, were the hosts.

There was much talk about the ACRE (Average Crop Revenue Election) program and possible efforts to improve it, to encourage more participation. The budgetary stresses were mentioned several times and how those stresses will probably affect the next Farm Bill Budget - with cuts in benefits and the need for offsets to costs.

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