ST. CLOUD -- Farmers are leaving their homesteads and coming into St. Cloud this week for the annual Midwest Dairy Expo at the River's Edge Convention Center. The latest in heavy equipment, technology and products are on display through Thursday.

One of the popular vendors this year is solar energy. Barry Thompson is a sales representative for Blue Horizon Energy out of Plymouth, Minnesota. He says more farmers are installing solar panels on their property to create their own energy.

Thomspon says there are tax credits available to install the solar panels and most people see the investment pay for itself in about eight years.  He says the technology allows farmers to bank their energy during peak sunlight hours for use later.

Also popular this year are the latest in robotics for milking, animal nutrition and stray voltage mitigation.

The Dairy Expo is expected to draw up to 600 people daily and runs though Thursday.


(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)