Solar power, conservation-till practices and cover crops are steps farmers can take now to help reduce greenhouse emissions. PAULDING COUNTY — For years, the McClure family contemplated installing solar panels. For just the south barn full of hogs, they spent $17,269 on electricity bills in 2017. Energy is the biggest expense for their operation, said 58-year-old Terry McClure, a fifth-generation farmer. A solar investment is a significant one. “It has to pay its way,” he said. As farmers across Ohio weigh the financial costs of offsetting their carbon footprint and increasing profits, researchers have painted a bleak picture of what will happen if greenhouse emissions are not reduced. Farmers say they will need financial incentives and more technological advances to eliminate their carbon footprint. Agriculture is an emissions-intensive industry. Agriculture, along with forestry, accounted for 1% of U.S. production in gross value, but produced 10% of the country’s greenhouse gases in 2016, according to the latest figures posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service . In many industries, energy is the leading source of emissions, including for heating, engine fuel and electricity. However, agriculture faces additional challenges because of emissions from livestock and the way crops […]

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