Windbreaks

I see where the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering cost share programs to replant windbreaks on agricultural land. Once a hallmark of good farming practices, many windbreaks have been removed possibly to accommodate larger farming equipment and/or the mistaken idea that windbreaks lower crop yields.

Windbreaks have multiple benefits in most areas where windbreaks were previously planted.  While yields were somewhat hampered out to 1 to 1-1/2 times the height of the trees, that loss was more than offset by increased yields in the remainder of the field.  The study found that, within the protected zone of the windbreak, spring wheat yields increased an average of 8%, corn by 12%, soybeans by 13%, and winter wheat by 23%. 

For more information on this topic check out:

http://z.umn.edu/furrowjan2015   or 

http://www.dairyherd.com/news/windbreaks-can-increase-crop-yield

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