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When does investing in solar energy make sense?

The Lamberston Family of Pocomoke, Maryland has always evolved to meet the changes and challenges in agriculture.

“My dad started our farm in the 1960s,” says Wayne Lamberston, member and director of MidAtlantic Farm Credit. “Dad started with 90 acres and grew vegetables, like most of the farms around here. But times change, and you have to change with them.”

Since it began, the Lamberston farm has grown tomatoes, potatoes, and laying hens. Today, those original 90 acres have grown to 1,600 acres of grain, soybeans, and wheat. Between Wayne and his son Jason, they now have 12 chicken houses for pullets, and 11 houses for broilers. The farms have an annual capacity for 2.5 million birds.

Last year, the Lamberstons added yet another commodity to the farm’s history: sunshine.

“We started looking at solar energy eight years ago,” says Wayne. “At the time, getting the racks was quite an investment – they were about $3 a panel. Today, they’re more efficient, and they’re closer to $1.80 a panel. That made the investment make sense.”

Farm Credit was able to help the Lamberstons make their dream of harvesting the sun and turning it into energy a reality. “Farm Credit understands rural infrastructure,” says Wayne, “and they understand the economics of it.”

In 2017, the system created more than enough energy for the Lambertson’s six farms, three homes, and one tenant house. “As long as we can generate $80,000 a year through energy savings, the system pays for itself,” adds Wayne.

He continues, “Farmers are always looking for projects that make sense, and I think that there will be more opportunities for solar energy. Our local power company is committed to having 20% green energy by the year 2025. Any venture that uses a lot of electricity – and poultry farming certainly qualifies – should be looking at the numbers, and seeing if it makes sense for them.”

If you’re considering adding a solar energy program to your operation, give our team a call today at 888.339.3334. We’re happy to discuss the project with you, and help you plan to turn the sun into savings!