An Iowa State University study is suggesting that turbines used to capture wind energy may have a benefit on crops in the fields. Gene Takle, a distinguished professor of both Agronomy as well as Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, says wind turbines disbursed throughout a field may create air turbulence that helps plants by affecting different variables, including air temperature and carbon dioxide. Feedstuffs magazine says research towers built on a 200-turbine wind farm collected data during a three-year study, noting wind speed and directions, temperatures, humidity, turbulence, gas content, and precipitation. While it’s difficult to know if the changes wind turbines produce actually affect crop performance, Takle said it can make growing conditions more favorable. For example, turbines can change the temperature around them. The wind turbulence can lead to a half-degree cooler days and between a half to a full degree warmer temps at night. The turbulence also suppresses the formation of dew, drying out the crops and preventing mold development on the plants.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.