Perdue Farms

Perdue Farms Creates Pollinator-Friendly Solar Project—the First Practising Poultry Company

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The project will benefit flowering plants, blooming species

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 75% of food crops rely at least partially on pollination. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the pollinator population in the United States has suffered tremendous losses, including the honey bees which American farmers rely on to pollinate crops.

Argonne National Laboratory in research found that the area around solar panels could provide an ideal location for the plants that are beneficial to pollinators. Recognizing the unique leadership role it can play in this area, Perdue Farms announces it has become the first poultry company in the United States to have pollinator-friendly ground cover at a company solar installation. The announcement coincides with World Environment Day on June 5, which celebrates biodiversity this year.

Solar pollinator habitat

There is a growing body of research that shows pollinator habitat can help increase yields of a variety of fruits and vegetables, including soybeans – one of the key components of a chicken’s diet. Purdue Farms believes that they have the potential to benefit the environment as well as the farmers near headquarters.

Additionally, the land directly under solar panels has traditionally been filled with gravel or grass, and the cost to create and maintain a pollinator habitat is roughly the same, so there’s no financial barrier to incorporating pollinator-friendly ground cover into the facility. Because of these benefits, Purdue Farms is planning to require pollinator-friendly ground cover at future company solar projects in order to provide even more benefits to the communities in which they are located. Asking for pollinator-friendly solar is a great way for electric utilities and corporates to ensure the solar energy they are buying does not result in negative tradeoffs.

Pollination requirements

To be a pollinator-friendly solar project in the states of Maryland, a facility must meet or exceed the minimum score set forth in the Solar Site Pollinator Habitat Planning and Assessment scorecard. The assessment includes the percentage of the site with flowering plants, the utilization of native plants, the number of different plants used, and the incorporation of blooming species through different seasons and more.

In partnership with Fresh Energy and the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, Purdue Farms has a mission is to increase and improve pollinator forage and habitat via their NextGen Habitat Project pollinator-focused seed mixes.



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