Ag expert testifies in wind farm hearing

Gordon Woods / Journal — Ag economist D.J. Martin, far right, addressed members of the Zoning Board of Appeals about the potential effect of wind energy projects on farms. His testimony came during Monday’s ZBA hearing for the Alta Farms II wind project special use application.

Says wind energy project will negatively affect farms in Barnett Township

CLINTON — Farm prices was something of a new topic addressed Monday as hearings for the Alta Farms II wind energy project continued this week.  D.J. Martin, of Waynesville, and his brothers manage their family farm, and he talked about concerns he has about the proposed wind project.

“This project will negatively affect our farm business,” Martin told members of the Zoning Board of Appeals.  “Tonight, I’m here to talk about a topic lots of folks have skirted around, and that’s the money involved in this.”

Martin holds an undergraduate and a graduate degree as an agriculture economist and has more than 40 years of experience in the field.  He has experience in farm management and appraisals as well as consulting and international finance.

Martin said many of today’s hybrid seeds produce increased yields because of aerial crop chemical applications.  

“The presence of windmills in some areas prevents the use of aerial application,” he said.  “If there is a pilot who will fly in those areas, the fees are significantly higher.”

Martin said if he were not able to apply farm chemicals to his crops through the use of aerial spraying, his farm would produce 30-32 bushels per acre less of corn.  

“This has a direct effect of $90-$130 per acre of lost income potential,” Martin said.  “It’s almost the same as soybeans.”

On Martin’s farm, the loss could potentially total approximately $16,000 a year.

* Read the complete story in the Clinton Journal E-Edition or the Journal print edition available Friday.

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