Why Sheep?

Traditionally, a 10 acre solar sight requires approximately 140 man hrs of mowing, 2-3 times per year, with high carbon producing weed whackers, specialized flail mowers and a track driven skidsteer. After including the carbon output for the delivery and mobilization of equipment, the carbon output for EACH mowing, on ONE site, can be equivalent to driving a SUV back and forth across the United States. The only other industry alternative is one or two applications of chemical weed-killer.  Using sheep to graze the site cuts that mowing time to about 12 hrs a year and eliminates over 400 hrs of running high carbon producing equipment.  Sheep benefit from foraging the land, they eliminate the need for chemicals and they provide jobs in the farming industry, all while producing local food products! The question we should be asking is, why NOT sheep?  

Before sheep
  • vegetation shades the solar panels

  • costly maintenance

  • tight corners require specialty equipment

  • high carbon output

  • herbicides

 

​The Task

Reduce carbon foot print

Lower costs

Build sustainability

Stimulate local economy

 

The Idea

  • Use sheep to reduce maintenance costs and carbon foot print

  • The sheep will eat the grass, browse the volunteer woody plants like honey suckle or small trees

  • The sheep will create a healthy eco-system by fertilizing the sub soil and disturbed areas

  • The sheep will remove the need for herbicides

  • The sheep will re-purpose the land and add a local, free range food source

 

Benefits of sheep

  • Easy to maintain

  • Provide milk, wool, and meat to community

  • Don’t jump, climb, chew or overgraze like goats

  • Can easily fit under the solar panels

  • Can use the panels for shade and cover

  • Eat grass, weeds and woody plants

  • Are calm and friendly                                                                                                      

The Goal

  • Make it standard acceptable practice for collages, municipalities, government agencies, and private solar farms to use sheep for their solar site maintenance

  • Bring awareness to the benefits of using sheep to maintain solar sites

Education

 

It is critical to continue educating ourselves and others about the best practices of sustainable solar site maintenance. We have made it our goal to share our knowledge through classes, seminars, and work shops, with the help of great local and international companies, and the wonderful folks at the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

We work with and train farmers on how to promote eco-friendly land management options. But solar contracts are tricky and require specialized insurances, and not all farmers are equipped for dealing with the red tape. So, for many, we acquire the contracts and demonstrate to the solar site land owners that using sheep is both profitable and beneficial, for their project and for future generations.

 

Our Business

Lets face it, we all know that farmers are not in the business for the money, it's a passion. When your passion can help the environment, the economy, the industry, and save your client money, that is a big WIN... and if it can be profitable for the farmer, that's all the better!

We offer solar grazing all over the state of NY and charge per acre for this service. We have the ability to service the sites traditionally, as required by most contracts, we also carry the necessary insurances.  We have found our rates, using sheep, to be less expensive that the traditional two or three full mowings needed in the north east.  The price per acre does vary, depending on the size of the field, the proximity to water, and desired contract term.   

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