“It’s a rapidly growing area of interest for farmers to harvest wind instead of the traditional soybeans or corn,” Ken Golden, Deere spokesman, said in announcing the new venture Thursday.
He said the latest trend is to put up one or two turbines a year so they eventually can sell the energy the units produce.
“It helps the rural economy. For the farmer, it can be a steady income,” Golden said.
Moline, Ill.-based Deere already has invested $8 million in this year in rural wind projects. Golden said the company has created a new business unit to oversee its investment in wind harvesting and plans to be an equity partner in several projects.
Deere will not be getting into the business of building wind turbines, but “will provide financing to help develop wind farms, as well as providing other services related to production…” On it’s face, this seems like a “win-win” situation all around. Deere will profit by helping farmers to make more productive (and, often, more sustainable) use of their land.