Solar taking some of the most productive Midwest farm land

Midwestern farm land low cost and close to existing grid.

“Solar leases in Indiana and surrounding states can offer $900 to $1,500 an acre per year in land rents, with annual rate increases, according to a Reuters review of solar leases and interviews with four solar project developers. In comparison, farmland rent in top corn and soybean producers Indiana, Illinois and Iowa averaged about $251 per acre in 2023, USDA data shows.”

Sad because rainfall diminishes as you move west. Corn belt ends as you move into plains states (where wheat dominates) and further west ranch country. Lots of land available to develop for solar but not near major users.

Net zero 2050 calls for reduced production of cattle due to their methane emissions. Ranching has been an income source for those lands. Land values gradually increase. Generate income to pay expenses like property tax and wait for the big offer. Solar is an attractive replacement source of income. But big grid revisions required.