The Iowa Farm Bureau is offering an on-line asseessment tool to help Iowa farmers and land owners determine whether their property is a prime spot for a wind turbine. Denny Harding, business services administrator for the Farm Bureau, has been fielding a growing number of questions from Farm Bureau members about farming the wind, and they now direct those folks to the website. “It gives you kind of a feasibility opinion,” he says. “Is this feasible for commercial use, in other words you can sell the electricity, or is it feasible for personal use or is it not feasible? There’s various degrees of rating.” The analysis is ONLY available to the 153,000 Iowa Farm Bureau members, however. The organization has arranged for a consultant to answer any follow-up questions. In addition, they’ve struck a special deal with John Deere Credit Unions on behalf of Farm Bureau members who want to buy a wind turbine. While John Deere Credit can provide the loans, Harding says the most important thing John Deere Credit officials are offering is to negotiate the contracts for those who wish to sell their wind-generated electricity to a utility company. Some estimates indicate Iowa could produce almost five times its own annual electricity consumption through wind power. In mid-November, the Farm Bureau will begin holding a series of public meetings to discuss wind energy.
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