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Do renewables require Prime Farmland?

Prime farmland is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops and is available for these uses.”

The USDA National Resources Inventory takes stock of existing prime farmland, revealing that there are ample acres of usable farmland in the Midwest for both the food and energy sectors.

While solar and wind do require many of the same land qualities as crops, they do not specifically require prime farmland for success. However, limiting use of prime farmland can infringe upon private property rights and hinder development of projects that are vital to the success of our energy goals and beneficial to our communities. Developers should consider all possible sites to best serve the community, the environment and our clean energy needs.

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