Iowa State University researchers have found that wind turbines located in agricultural fields have potential positive impacts on the crops growing around them.

Studies done so far suggest the overall effects on crops growing in wind farms appear to be positive, said Gene Takle, Iowa State agronomy professor. Based on discussions with plant and soil scientists along with extension specialists, he launched a study into agricultural effects in 2009.

Takle and his associates knew turbines earned lease payments for landowners, but wondered if it they made a difference in the 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 as two forms of energy production. The Chinese do this when they plant soybeans in between horticultural crops. We’re planting...