Bees, sheep, crops: Solar developers tout multiple benefits

  • Researcher Amy Marble weighs produce grown at Jack's Solar Garden on Sept. 14, 2021, in Longmont, Colo. As solar panels spread across the landscape, the grounds around them can be used for native grasses and flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

  • Sheep graze and rest at a solar farm at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. As panels spread across the landscape, the grounds around them can be used for native grasses and flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Some solar farms are being used to graze sheep. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

  • Crops grow under solar panels at Jack’s Solar Garden on Sept. 14 in Longmont, Colo. As panels spread across the landscape, the grounds around them can be used for native grasses and flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

  • Solar farms surround trees at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. As panels spread across the landscape, the grounds around them can be used for native grasses and flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Some solar farms are being used to graze sheep. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

  • Sheep graze at a solar farm at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. As panels spread across the landscape, the grounds around them can be used for native grasses and flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Some solar farms are being used to graze sheep.(AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

  • Cornell University researcher Niko Kochendoerfer stands among sheep grazing at a solar farm at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., on Sept. 24. Kochendoerfer says initial data from her three-year study shows light grazing produces abundant bees and wildflowers, while keeping plants from shading panels. Some rare bee species are turning up. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

MONTICELLO, Minnesota — Silflower was among native plants that blanketed the vast North American prairie until settlers developed farms and cities. Nowadays confined largely to roadsides and ditches, the long-stemmed cousin of the sunflower may be poised for a comeback, thanks to solar energy.