Solar-Suitable Grazing Animals

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Managing Grazing to Restore Soil Health, Ecosystem Function, and Ecosystem Services

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.
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Conceptual Design and Rationale for a New Agrivoltaics Concept: Pasture-Raised Rabbits and Solar Farming

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.
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Pasture Production and Lamb Growth in Agrivoltaic System

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.
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Paddock Design, Fencing and Water Systems for Controlled Grazing

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.
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Nutrient Cycling in Pastures

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.
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Solar-Powered Livestock-Watering Systems

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.
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Multispecies Grazing: A Primer on Diversity

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.
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Mount Morris Agrivoltaics Study: Co-locating Solar and Agriculture at the Morris Ridge Solar Energy Center

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.
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Life Cycle Assessment of Pasture-based Agrivoltaic Systems: Emissions and Energy Use of Integrated Rabbit Production

The goal of this study is to assess the environmental impacts of a novel pasture-based agrivoltaic concept: co-farming rabbits and solar PV. The study addresses the life cycle assessments of pasture-based agrivoltaic systems, including the emissions and energy use of integrated rabbit production. These topics are relevant to developing agrisolar operations that include the use of rabbits.
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Lamb Growth and Pasture Production in Agrivoltaic Production System

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 results from this grazing study indicated that grazing under solar panels can maintain higher carrying capacity of pasture toward summer, and land productivity could be increased up to 200% through combining sheep grazing and solar energy production on the same land.
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Herbage Yield, Lamb Growth and Foraging Behavior in Agrivoltaic Production System

This study was conducted to compare lamb growth and pasture production from solar pastures in agrivoltaic systems and traditional open pastures over 2 years in Oregon. Topics in focus in this study include experimental grazing management, herbage mass, land equivalent ratio and net return of spring grazing. These topics are useful when considering approaches to developing and managing agrisolar operations that include grazing.
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Grazing Sheep on Solar Sites in New York State: Opportunities and Challenges

This paper examines the current scope of sheep grazing in New York State and the benefits, opportunities, challenges, and barriers to scaling up the sheep industry to graze ground-mounted photovoltaic arrays for vegetation management. The study shows that there are similarities between USSE facilities and those of Distributed Solar Energy's benefits, opportunities and challenges but that they are modified due to the larger scale of operations of the projects.
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Exploring Farming and Solar Synergies

This report explores the synergies between farming and solar photovoltaics with the premises that agricultural production on farmland should be maintained and farm profitability and soil health should be improved. The report states that siting solar facilities in Maryland is a major stumbling block to the progress of in-state solar energy generation and finding common ground and possible solutions to issues allows the state to proceed forward in developing agrisolar operations.
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Multispecies Grazing: A Primer on Diversity

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 multispecies grazing on productivity and profitability, including its positive impacts on pasture diversity and health. Also covered are grazing dynamics (how diverse animal species use grazing resources), the types and kinds of fencing and working facilities needed by various animals, and how to deal with predators, mineral supplementation and parasites. These considerations and topics can be useful when developing agrisolar operations that include livestock.
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Life Cycle Assessment of Pasture-based Agrivoltaic Systems: Emissions and Energy Use of Integrated Rabbit Production

The goal of this study is to assess the environmental impacts of a novel pasture-based agrivoltaic concept: co-farming rabbits and solar PV. Details of the study include a focus on modeled scenarios of emissions use related to rabbit production on agrisolar land. Also included are scenarios on independent solar PV and conventional rabbit production systems and rabbit agrivoltaic systems.
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Lamb Growth and Pasture Production in Agrivoltaic Production System

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. Results of the study dynamics of variations of shaded areas for rabbit habitat, seasonal herbage and forage production. These results can be useful in developing agrisolar operations that include rabbits.
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Herbage Yield, Lamb Growth and Foraging Behavior in Agrivoltaic Production System

This study was conducted to compare lamb growth and pasture production from solar pastures in agrivoltaic systems and traditional open pastures over 2 years in Oregon. The discussion dives into a variety of topics, including: reduction of pasture production due to trampling, production in fully shaded areas, herbage variation and its effect on lamb production and lamb behavior relating to water intake and shade usage. These considerations could be helpful for agrisolar development when lambs will be used for grazing, etc.
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Mount Morris Agrivoltaics Study: Co-locating Solar and Agriculture at the Morris Ridge Solar Energy Center

The study includes information that may be useful in developing agrisolar operations that include grazing sheep, such as: solar-grazing compensation(s), purchasing of lambs, operating expenses and fixed-cost investments. The research aims 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.