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Letter to the Editor PDF Print
Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:01 AM

DEAR EDITOR:

Wind turbines are incompatible with farming

My home is on 65 acres 3/4 mile from 100 wind turbines. Your county’s residents have asked me what their future holds. I implore Van Wert County to avoid making the same mistake that McLean County did in destroying thousands of acres of what was once the most productive soil in the world by permitting wind turbines without protecting residents and agricultural businesses with safe setbacks. Farming and living in a peaceful rural community is gone once turbines come.

Choosing turbines will cause you to give up access to environmentally friendly methods of protecting waterways from nitrogen runoff by planting cover crops aerially. Aerial applicators reserve the right not to spray within one mile of a turbine. Our past state association president said, “Aerial application can be done in maybe 10% of the fields inside wind farms, but it isn’t worth somebody’s life to get in there and try to do that.” Many fields will lose the option to protect their crops aerially. If a plane hits a tower, blade, or unmarked meteorological tower, the leaseholder can be sued by the developer for damages. A farmer here testified that he will never be able to spray his field by air again: he can’t get insurance. When offered more turbines, he declined, stating he wouldn’t have gotten the first ones had he known. Farmers have a right to do what they want on their own property, but they do not have a right to put up a wind turbine which may deprive their neighbor of their livelihood, income they get from farming. Can the county be sued for approving this as an unfair business practice? Will your neighbor sue you to recover damages they’ll suffer from decreased yields and increased costs because of your turbine?

Soil compaction and crushed field tiles from heavy cranes is permanent and occurs repeatedly during 60 year leases. Tile removal and raised access roads in fields create drainage nightmares. Farmers seldom get the same yields after destroying their fields with wind turbines. Wind turbines are completely incompatible with farming. You choose - farm or place an industrial power plant in the middle of a once a productive field.

You cannot do both. It’s inexcusable for Van Wert County to ignore evidence from victims of other wind farms. Deny permits which will endanger the health, safety and livelihood of your citizens.

Learn more - Windaction, www.fairwindenergy.org.

Kim Schertz

Hudson, Ill

 

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