Farmers in Britain are now increasingly being offered deals not for some wonderful fertilisers, or for some new super crop, but what is fast turning out to be the new cash cow, solar power.
The British government in April introduced new subsidies to promote renewable energy development and farmers have found they now hold the key to a secure investment.
The development is no doubt great news for farmers who have seen incomes fall nearly 7 per cent last year as commodity prices declined.
Analysts say though the income did pick up in 2007 and 2008 following a decade of retreating trade, many farmers are treading a fine line in terms of survival while many are reliant on money from the EU to turn to profit.
Under such conditions, investment in renewables and development of new income streams from land and buildings forms part of the defence against volatile commodity prices.
According to the government's so-called feed-in-tariffs (FITs) farmers would get guaranteed cash back for the next 25 years on every unit of electricity generated by a solar panel, wind turbine or biomass technology such as anaerobic digestion.