March 5, 2018
AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University researchers have found that wind turbines located in agricultural fields are a plus for the crops growing around them.
The overall effects on crops growing in wind farms appear to be positive said Gene Takle, Iowa State agronomy professor. He has led a team of plant and soil scientist along with extension specialists who have been looking into the effects since 2009.
They started their work after seeing more wind farms and turbines pop up around the state. The new land use was positive for the landowners where they were located, but the researchers wondered if it was the same for the farmers growing crops.
“It’s unusual because we’re continuing the previous land use and we’re adding another,” he said. “We’re sort of double-cropping because these can be thought of two forms of energy production. The Chinese do this when they plant soybeans in between horticultural crops. We’re planting turbines.”
If the turbines change the microclimate for corn and soybeans, the team wanted to learn if it is a big enough change to be measured and the potential impacts.
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