Wind turbines in Midwestern farm fields may be doing more than churning out electricity. The giant turbine blades that generate renewable energy might also help corn and soybean crops stay cooler and drier, help them fend off fungal infestations and improve their ability to extract growth-enhancing carbon dioxide from the air and soil.
The preliminary findings of a months-long study that examines how wind turbines on farmlands interact with surrounding crops were presented on December 16 at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The presentation was made by researcher Gene Takle of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Julie Lundquist, assistant professor in the University of Colorado at Boulder’s atmospheric and oceanic studies department. (more…)