In this study, researchers examined the impacts of animal agrivoltaics on the thermal comfort and wellbeing experienced by dairy heifers, and the potential benefit of offsetting enteric methane emissions. The shade provided by the solar panels efficiently relieved the heat load on the cattle, cooled off their body surface and skin temperatures, and decreased the costs of thermoregulation. Researchers concluded that 4.1 m2 of solar panels would be necessary to offset the methane emitted by the cows.
This life cycle assessment study investigates the environmental performance of sheep-based agrivoltaic systems and concludes that agrivoltaic systems are superior to conventional ground-mounted PV systems because they have dual purposes and reduce the environmental impacts associated with producing food and electricity.
This resource discusses components of managed grazing such as: historical herbivore effects on grasslands, limitations of past research, managing grazing to restore ecological function and management tactics used to achieve sustainable finance goals. All of these considerations relate to aspects of developing AgriSolar operations that include grazing and a need for grazing strategies. Scientists partnering with farmers and ranchers around the world who have improved their land resource base and excel financially have documented how such land managers produce sound environmental, social, and economic outcomes. Many of these producers have used Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing management as a highly effective approach for managing their grazing lands sustainably.
This study presents a conceptual design for a novel agrivoltaic system based on pasture-fed rabbit farming and provides the technical, environmental, and economic analyses to demonstrate the viability of the concept. The analysis includes methods of grazing rabbits, including grazing density, PV maintenance and operations of rabbit-grazed land and pasture-fed rabbit operation components. The study also includes a conceptual design for rabbit-based agrisolar operations.
This study was conducted to compare lamb growth and pasture production under solar panels and in open pastures in Corvallis, Oregon, in spring 2019 and 2020. The study included a core group of thirty-six weaned Polypay lambs on various parts of land used in an agrivoltaic operation. Both livestock farmers and energy companies require information for the application of efficient livestock management practices under solar panels, and this study aims to provide that information for future, potential agrisolar operations.
This publication covers some of the basics of paddock design and current fencing and water technology. Grazing systems, often incorporated into agrivoltaic operations, are economically feasible and now more easily managed due to developments in fencing and water technologies, as this study addresses. The study also discusses forage availability in relation to the application in agrisolar systems.
This study attempts to provide a clear, holistic understanding of how nutrients cycle through pastures and what the producer can do to enhance the processes to create productive, regenerative, and resilient farm and ranch systems. Details of the study include photosynthetic and microbial bridges, soil food web(s), macro-organisms such as dung beetles and earthworms, abiotic soil properties and soil Ph, among others. All of these topics are relevant to concerns and discusses in the agrisolar communities and their operations.
This publication gives an introduction to solar-powered livestock-watering systems, including discussions of cost, components, and terminology, as well as some suggestions for designing and installing these systems. The paper covers strengths and weaknesses of solar-pumping options in remote locations using mechanical windmills, wind turbines, propane and other methods. This publication may prove useful when considering the use of cattle or other livestock along with solar-powered water pumps at remote watering sites, known as a type of agrisolar operation.
This publication discusses the principles and practices of grazing multiple species of livestock on pastures. Here, you’ll find a discourse on the benefits of multi species grazing on productivity and profitability, including its positive impacts on pasture diversity and health. Details related to these benefits include stocking-rate decisions, grazing pigs, planning and monitoring, predators and vegetation management. Familiarity with these topics can be useful in better understanding and developing agrisolar operations that include a variety of livestock.
The Town of Mount Morris commissioned this research to answer questions about the nascent solar-agricultural industry, assess opportunities to attract farmers to the EDF Renewables Morris Ridge Solar Energy Center, and identify viable markets for solar-raised products. The report addresses the current interest of local farmers in grazing sheep and establishing apiaries at Morris Ridge. The study specifically addresses solar grazing concerns, including: budget assumptions, purchase and sale of lambs for grazing, operating expenses, estimated returns and revenues and expenses.