Sep 23, 2019

American farmers are pivoting to solar power to pay the bills

Solar panels near a dairy farm in Vermont. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

U.S. farmers are increasingly installing solar panels to help make ends meet, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The effects of the U.S.-China trade war and record spring rainfalls across the center of the country left many farmers unable to fully plant their crops, requiring them to find new sources of income.

How it works: Farmers lease land to energy companies to generate solar power — or install their own solar panels to cut their electricity bills.

  • Both methods can net more than $1,000 a month, according to farmers and renewable-energy advocates.
  • This is especially lucrative in states with competitive power-generation sectors because companies will compete for leases.

Yes, but: Some farmers are hesitant to lease to power companies for years at a time because they could make more money planting if crop prices rebound.

Go deeper: As wind and solar energy grow, so do their challenges

Go deeper

Updated 23 mins ago - Technology

Twitter: Trump's Minnesota tweet violated rules on violence

Twitter said Friday morning that a tweet from President Trump in which he threatened shooting in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules. The company said it was leaving the tweet up in the public interest.

Why it matters: The move exacerbates tensions between Twitter and Trump over the company's authority to label or limit his speech and, conversely, the president's authority to dictate rules for a private company.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.