Why this dairy farmer invested in solar

10 Jul, 2017 09:26 AM
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Karrinjeet Singh-Mahil: We’ve altered the diet of our cows – more fresh feed on the ground, less preserved, which saves diesel, plastic, wastage, time and methane.
Looking ahead, we were worried about what life will be like for our daughters.
Karrinjeet Singh-Mahil: We’ve altered the diet of our cows – more fresh feed on the ground, less preserved, which saves diesel, plastic, wastage, time and methane.

Why have we invested in solar? It’s simple: our two young daughters. Looking ahead, we were worried about what life will be like for our daughters.

That’s why we’re the proud owners of a solar system on our dairy, and two on the farmhouse – plus battery storage.

Already, we’re seeing increasing erosion on our farm, winds scooping out precious top soil from between paddock plants. In response, we’ve changed what we grow to feed our dairy herd: deeper rooting plants and species that thrive in warmer soils.

We’ve also altered the diet of our cows – more fresh feed on the ground, less preserved, which saves diesel, plastic, wastage, time and methane.

We recycle, both on farm and at home. Even though recycling plastic silage wrap means buying special collection bags and paying a tip fee. Even though recycling household waste means driving to town to deposit it in a friend’s bin every fortnight.

Then there’s solar. With batteries, free energy from the sun is available to us after dark, when we’re home making dinner, or watching an episode of The Voice.

Not only does the energy we generate reduce our own costs, it also helps reduce daily peaks in the grid, which makes the whole system more efficient and secure.

It reduces Australia’s reliance on polluting, coal-fired power, which is something that we must do if we are to protect our children’s future.

There are those who question the power of individuals to change the world. Yet lots of families, like ours, are doing their part.

Add it all up and there’s a movement of real change. Every little bit counts, whether it’s changing your vote, how you live or deciding to invest in your own solar system.

*Farmers for Climate Action member Karrinjeet Singh-Mahil operates a 150-hectare dairy farm with husband Brian Schuler in Victoria.

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