Wind turbines that often dot fields throughout the Midwest may benefit row crops, according to new research by Iowa State University. A climate researcher with the university says air turbulence from wind turbines affects temperatures and helps reduce moisture that can lead to disease. The university tells the Des Moines Register wind turbines have “an overall healthy impact on plants.” However, it is difficult to determine if those benefits improve crop yields. The research says wind turbine turbulence leads to temperatures about a half-degree cooler during the day and between a half degree to a full degree warmer at night. And the turbulence and associated changes in air pressure at ground level may enrich the carbon dioxide content in the air surrounding crops, which could make the plants grow more efficiently. Air movement rustling the plants also allows sunlight to reach lower corn and soybean leaves, encouraging photosynthesis, according to the study.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.