Farmers to share renewable in agriculture success stories at Dubbo expo

Dubbo to host National Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo

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Hosted in Dubbo, NSW's first Renewable Energy Zone, the Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo is the brainchild of Narromine farmer Karin Stark. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Hosted in Dubbo, NSW's first Renewable Energy Zone, the Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo is the brainchild of Narromine farmer Karin Stark. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

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Farmers from across the country will come together in Dubbo to share their experiences integrating renewable energy into their farming operations.

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Farmers from across the country will come together in Dubbo to share their experiences integrating renewable energy into their farming operations.

Hosted in Dubbo - where NSW's first Renewable Energy Zone is being established - the Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo is the brainchild of Narromine farmer Karin Stark.

Held on May 19, the event will bring farmers, agriculture and energy consultants, peak bodies and government representatives to share stories of on-farm renewables, their business cases and what's driving the the transformation of energy use in agriculture.

"It's important for farmers to be able to get together and share their stories and also their challenges and mistakes so that others can learn from them," Ms Stark said.

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The expo would also offer attendees the chance to speak to credible renewable energy suppliers about what's on offer, and hear from farmers their first hand experiences.

Dubbo sheep farmer Tom Warren, will be one of the key speakers at the event discussing his 20-megawatt solar farm on his property, which supplements his agricultural income. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Dubbo sheep farmer Tom Warren, will be one of the key speakers at the event discussing his 20-megawatt solar farm on his property, which supplements his agricultural income. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Dubbo sheep farmer Tom Warren, will be one of the key speakers at the event discussing his 20-megawatt solar farm on his property, which supplements his agricultural income. He said there had been "no negative impacts at all".

"I was very keen from the outset that I would get the opportunity to graze my merino sheep beneath the panels, the company agreed and it's been a win-win ever since," Mr Warren said.

"The sheep keep the grass down, reducing the need to mow between panels, and the panels provide shade in summer and protection from the wind in winter."

The use of renewable energy in agriculture remains a relatively new concept in the area.

Ms Stark said there was a gap in the knowledge and understanding of what renewable energy solutions work for what farming operations, which was why the conference was a platform to showcase what's currently being done.

"There's a scarcity of visible examples from farmers to learn from," she said.

"Farmers like to see what's happening on their neighbours property, and if there's not enough examples of people using bio energy or solar or hosting wind, then they're not going to be thinking of it for themselves.

"There's also a bit of lack of trust in renewable energy suppliers. There's a lot of credible solar installers, but not all of them have the agriculture experience they might require to understand that the way farmers work is quite different to a house or a business in town, on the seasonality of energy use.

"So that's why we bring these groups together to provide information, share stories and increase knowledge of what needs to happen in the agriculture and energy space."

Ms Stark said renewable energy was a practical way for farmers to significantly reduce costs and increase business resilience.

The conference will be on Wednesday, May 19 at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre. Tickets range from $175 to $220. For more visit renewablesinagconference.com.au.

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The story Farmers to share renewable in agriculture success stories at Dubbo expo first appeared on Daily Liberal.

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