Winter Is Perfect Time To Inspect Windbreaks
(Le Mars) -- During the winter is a perfect time to check your windbreaks, according to a state technician with the Natural Resources and Conservation Services. Chuck Hoelker says walking around your farmstead and feedlots at this time of year can provide you with valuable information helpful in making decisions about your windbreak. Snow drifts in areas of the farmstead could indicate a need for additional snow catch areas to be planted. Hoelker says windbreaks play an important role in the protection of livestock particularly for young animals. By reducing wind velocity and the effects of cold temperatures, a good windbreak can significantly reduce stress on feed energy requirements. The N-R-C-S official says a good windbreak around a farmstead will result in better animal health, lower mortality, reduced feed costs, and increased profitability in your livestock operation. Hoelker says evergreens work well for windbreak protection, but he also recommends some shrubs.
The N-R-C-S is now offering a cost-share program for farmers and landowners wanting to plant a windbreak. Monte Dowlinger, also is a state technician with the N-R-C-S. He says the N-R-C-S will provide up to 75 percent of the costs for planting a windbreak, with the farmer or landowner paying the remaining 25 percent. He explains the details of the cost-share program.
Dowlinger says a properly planted windbreak will offer many benefits. He says windbreaks have proven to help reduce odors emitting from livestock production facilities.
Dowlinger says windbreaks can also add value to your farm.
The N-R-C-S technician says other benefits to planting a windbreak include: added beauty to the home or farm, reduces the weathering effect on buildings, and provides food and shelter for wildlife.