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  • Writer's pictureLeith MacKenzie

Solar Grazing

After a really dry spring, I was a bit worried about our pastures running out. The rain over the past month has really helped the pastures bounce back. Generally in July and August the soil dries out and the hotter temperatures slow down grass growth. I guess not this year.

We take some of our sheep to two different solar farms for the summer. The solar sites hire us to "mow" the grass under and around the solar panels. We do this first with the sheep flock and also with the tractor and mower. We manage their grazing pretty much like we do at home but we only move them twice a week because they are 25 miles away from the home farm. Setting up fences is pretty similar but in a few places I need to set them up in a roadway. Here I am driving a pilot hole before pounding in the post.

The sheep really like grazing under the panels. It is dry there when it rains and shady when it's hot. Their natural behavior is especially helpful because you can't fit a tractor underneath the panels to mow. Besides getting paid for "mowing" the solar farms, it is nice to have the extra pasture to graze.

The cows are doing well, we just had the last calf of 2023 the other day. It is always a huge relief when calving season is over.

Thanks for reading,

Leith, Mary Kate & Norah MacKenzie


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