Whiteside Co. crop duster’s take on big wind…‘Proposed changes to the Whiteside County Wind Power Generating Facility Ordinance’
Editor’s note: The following was presented by Les Cady June 7. Cady operates Cady Aerial Spray company. He is a crop duster. His perspective on industrial wind complexes and the particulars of their siting is very interesting. The following is a document posted on the County of Lee, Illinois’ website.
Rich Boris, Village of Lee president, stated: “It appears appropriate to pass [this information] on to other counties in Illinois and other states; please send it to others that may benefit from it.”
Prepared by Les Cady
Cady Aerial Spray, Deer Grove, Ill.
Changes Pertaining to Wind Turbines
During a recent conversation I had with a County Board member, I was asked, “Why should the county deny a landowner’s right to have a wind turbine installed on their property?” I responded with a question of my own.
Why should landowners who choose not to have a wind turbine installed on their property be allowed to lose their right to treat their farmland by aerial application?
The Whiteside County Wind Power Generating Facility Ordinance was adopted in part to protect landowners who choose not to participate in a wind farm. As an aerial applicator, I can tell you that in my professional opinion, the current ordinance falls far short of protecting a landowner’s right to have their crops treated by aircraft!
The many thousands of acres of irrigated farmland in Southeastern Whiteside County are an enormous asset. Every growing season, local farmers contract to grow for companies such as Del Monte and Seneca Foods to grow vegetables. Also, Monsanto (DeKalb), Du Pont (Pioneer), Mycogen, Ag Reliant, and Wyffels to grow seed corn. Farmers in Whiteside County play a direct role in growing vegetables that end up on our store shelves and producing the seeds that grow corn throughout the Midwest.
Many of these companies rely heavily on aerial application to produce these specialty crops. If wind turbines are allowed to be built in Whiteside County without proper protection to non-participating landowners rights, tens of thousands of acres of farmland may be rendered untreatable by agricultural aircraft. Many of these companies, no longer being able to utilize aerial application, would likely move their production elsewhere. That would be a terrible loss to the farmers who contract to grow for these companies, and to the local economy.
To properly and sufficiently protect the right of non-participating landowners’ to have their crops treated by air, I propose the following changes to the ordinance:
- To allow unrestricted access by air to neighboring fields and allow agricultural aircraft to safely navigate, a setback of 1 statute mile from each turbine.
- Said setback shall be from the neighboring property line, not the “primary structure.”
- “Wind Company” shall reimburse all landowners or tenant farmers for any and all surcharges incurred from aerial applicators due to increased time to treat fields, increased insurance costs, and increased hazard to pilots.
- “Wind Company” shall provide exact location including GPS coordinates and height of each wind turbine structure to the county, all local Aerial Applicators, and the Illinois Agricultural Aviation Association before turbines are erected.
- “Wind Company” shall in good faith consult each local aerial applicator and the Illinois Agricultural Aviation Association as to the location and layout of wind farm.
- “Wind Company” shall provide means of contact and shall turn off within a period of one hour’s notice any and all wind turbines deemed necessary by aerial applicators for safe treatment of any farmland.
- “Wind Company” shall provide from the months of May through September 24 hours notice to local aerial applicators of any construction or maintenance crew which will be working at a turbine site. Wind Company shall within one hour evacuate all workers deemed necessary by aerial applicators for safe application.
Les Cady can be reached at 8(15) 590-2239 or firstname.lastname@example.org@yahoo.com.
From the July 13-19, 2011 issue
Print This Article