Equipment/Technology, North America, Smart Farming, Trends

Solar Farms by Agri-Stor provide instant saving to growers

Hindsight has a way of making even the most brilliant of ideas seem obvious and elementary. It’s easy to wonder, “Why didn’t somebody think of this years ago?” In 2016, the folks at Agri-Stor Companies called a meeting to address what was, at the time, a depressed potato market. The Twin Falls, Idaho-based company has developed and built potato storages for over 50 years. There is a prevailing belief at Agri-Stor that they have a responsibility to help growers succeed in whatever ways they can. So in that stressful economic environment for the region’s potato industry, the Agri-Stor folks were looking for solutions just as earnestly as growers were. Jesse Vierstra is a forward-thinking kind of guy. Though he was still a fairly new hire at Agri-Stor at the time, he spoke up and voiced a big idea in that meeting: “Why don’t we get into solar?” 

After all, energy costs are at or near the top of the list of farm expenditures year in and year out; why not see whether it’s feasible to set growers up with a way to produce some of their own energy? Vierstra was tabbed to head up the project, dubbed Solar Farms. The crew at Agri-Stor set to work investigating what it would take to install solar systems on farms, where on a farm it would make the most sense, and what the initial cost and long-term savings would be for growers. Read more

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