By Dave Burmeister
(Photo courtesy of USDA National Agroforestry Center)
Many Iowa farmsteads can benefit by installing a new windbreak or renovating an older one that has damage or has dead tree in it. The benefits include: energy conservation, snow control, livestock protection, wildlife habitats, and improving the overall appearance of the landscape. By reducing the summer and winter winds, a farmstead is a better place to live and work.
Cost-share through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship- Water Quality (IDALS-WQ) uses REAP or county funds to pay up to 75% of the establishment or renovation for the purchase of trees and shrubs. Applications can be submitted to the Oakland Field Office before starting, with help from a technician who can help design your windbreak. A minimum of three rows are required. Plantings are done in the spring and finished in May 15th. Site preparation should start the year before by clearing the area for spring planting. A combination of varieties and species are best when deciding what to plant. Talking with the district forester can help greatly in your planning process. The producer is responsible for the purchase of the trees and shrubs.
If you're interested in learning more information please see the attached publications below provided by the USDA National Agroforestry Center or contact the East Pottawattamie Soil and Water Conservation District at (712) 482-6408.