What is Solar Grazing?
It's the practice of grazing livestock on solar farms. Sheep are the most common solar grazing animals, as they are the best-suited species.
Sheep are naturally suited to the job of solar grazing. They enjoy the shade of the solar panels on hot days, napping and grazing where humans would struggle to reach. They are resourceful foragers, walking to search for vegetation that might otherwise become a shady nuisance for the solar company.
For the safety of the existing, low-mount solar arrays, goats, cows, pigs, and horses are not recommended.
December 3, 2020 webinar on solar grazing with sheep. Speaker is Lexie Hain, Executive Director of the American Solar Grazing Association. The webinar is hosted by Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist, University of Maryland Extension.
May 6, 2019 webinar on solar grazing with 101. Speakers are Lewis Fox and Lexie Hain, founders of the American Solar Grazing Association. The webinar is hosted by Larissa Mackenna, Food Animal Concerns Trust.
Why Solar Grazing?
Ground mounted photovoltaics (PV) are expanding in size and number nationwide, and the most desirable sites for solar projects are often already in cropland.
Solar grazing keeps farmland in farm production.
Farm incomes are down, and solar grazing allows farmers to increase and diversify revenues without taking land out of food production.
Solar grazing contributes dairy, meat, and wool to regional markets.
Solar grazing reduces or eliminates the need for mowing at solar sites, reducing emissions and costs.
With solar grazing, the vegetation at solar sites becomes a source of nutrition and a pasture for sheep.
What advice do you have?
Solar grazing has many strong voices supporting this emerging industry.
Grazing management firms and farmers with targeted grazing businesses are emerging across the country.
The webinar to the right was recorded on Feb 11, 2021. It is a Question and Answer session with 5 ASGA solar grazing practitioners.
The panel discussion brings more depth to the other webinars recorded above.
February 11, 2021 panel discussion on solar grazing with 5 representatives from the American Solar Grazing Association. Speakers are Dr Judy St Leger, ASGA Board & Dutch Barn Farm, Julie Bishop, ASGA Advisor & Solar Sheep LLC, Lewis Fox of Agrivoltaic Solutions & ASGA Board, Brock Phillips of Carolina Lamb & ASGA Member and Lexie Hain, Executive Director of the American Solar Grazing Association. The webinar is hosted by Larissa McKenna, Food Animal Concerns Trust.