I have been very fortunate this past year. I was lucky to graduate college in December and know exactly what my next step was; move to Iowa and work build a farm program on this station.

microphone in radio studio

Before moving to Iowa and working on this station, I will admit, I never really listened to AM radio. I knew my dad would listen to spots on AM radio in the milk truck but that was the extent of my AM listening.

Little did I know I would one day be working on a station with an AM frequency.

And don’t worry, I do listen to KOEL when I’m in the car now.

While I was in Kansas City at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention, one topic on a lot of people’s minds was the impact electric vehicles will have on the industry. And for rural farm broadcasters like myself, it’s not sitting well.

As people are buying more electric vehicles, they are losing their ability to access AM radio. In fact, many are just doing without AM radio.

Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash
Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

 Why is this?

Looking into the technicality side of it, the wavelengths of the electromagnetic frequencies in EV motors are the same as those in AM radio signals. When the competing wavelength clash, they cancel out. As EV motors get stronger, AM static increases.

Nathan Simington a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission spoke with broadcasters at the NAFB convention. He told the American Ag Network that AM radio is an “essential spine” of the Emergency Alert System.


AM radio is an indispensable source of information for more than three million farmers in the U.S. To those who say AM is a dead technology, 75 percent of farmers listen to the radio five days per week.

So, if you’re a listener of this AM 950, you might not want to make the switch to an electric vehicle anytime soon, but if you do, that doesn’t mean you lose our station altogether.

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