What is windbreaks in agriculture


Windbreaks are linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to provide economic, environmental and community benefits. The primary purpose of most windbreaks is to slow the wind which creates a more beneficial condition for soils, crops, livestock, wildlife and people.


What are the benefits of windbreaks for agriculture?

By reducing wind speed, windbreaks can reduce this damage to downwind crops. Reduced wind speed in the lee of a windbreak can also increase humidity as well as air and soil temperatures for crops. Studies have indicated that these favorable growing conditions were, on average, associated with a 6 to 44 percent increase in crop yield.

What is a windbreak?

Windbreaks are linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to provide economic, environmental and community benefits. The primary purpose of most windbreaks is to slow the wind which creates a more beneficial condition for soils, crops, livestock, wildlife and people.

What are the ecosystem services provided by windbreaks?

Ecosystem services provided by windbreaks include reducing wind erosion on farmland, which benefits soil fertility, structure and moisture. Windbreaks also sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into their woody biomass above and below the ground.

What is a windbreak or shelterbelt?

The main impact of a windbreak or shelterbelt is to reduce mean wind speed near the surface. Acting as a porous barrier to the flow, the shelter creates a small region of wind reduction on the windward side and a low-speed, turbulent wake zone followed by a region of gradual wind speed recovery in the lee, as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1.


What does windbreak mean?

Definition of windbreak : a growth of trees or shrubs serving to break the force of wind broadly : a shelter (such as a fence) from the wind.

What are the benefits of windbreak?

Windbreaks can prevent soil erosion that encompasses an area of 10 to 20 times their height. Windbreaks can increase crop production by reducing water use, increasing soil and air temperature, and reducing chemical drift. Windbreaks decrease heating and cooling costs.

How does a windbreak work?

Windbreaks are rows of trees or shrubs that reduce the force of the wind. They can reduce soil erosion, increase crop yields and protect livestock from heat and cold. Windbreaks can shield buildings and roads from drifting snow. They beautify the landscape and provide travel routes and habitat for wildlife.

What are the types of windbreaks?

There are two kinds of windbreaks – field windbreaks and farmstead windbreaks. The primary purpose of a field windbreak is to control soil erosion and to prevent crop damage and loss caused by wind.

Why windbreaks are important in agriculture industry?

When planted around field crops, feedlots, livestock buildings, pastures and calving areas, windbreaks reduce wind speeds and will: increase crop yields and reduce soil erosion. lower animal stress and improve animal health. increase feed efficiency.

What is windbreaks in Agroforestry?

What is it? Windbreaks are linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to enhance crop production, protect people and livestock, and benefit soil and water conservation. Windbreaks can provide valuable opportunities for vine and tree fruit growers, row crop farmers, livestock producers, and rural homeowners.

What is natural windbreak?

A natural windbreak is an area of native vegetation perhaps left undisturbed after agricultural development, or an area recolonized by native plants that provides protection from the prevailing winds and storms. A living windbreak describes trees and shrubs intentionally selected and planted to provide wind protection.

How do you plant a windbreak?

With a planting of four or more rows, space plants 10 to 12 feet apart between rows and six to eight feet apart in the row. All plants in a windbreak should be staggered to allow them to develop and mature properly. Where space is limited, use double rows of dense shrubs in a border that is 10 to 12 feet wide.

How do you make a windbreak?

For optimum protection, the length of the windbreak should be 11.5 times greater than the mature width. Plant the windbreak rows at a distance from the house of two to five times the mature height of the trees. For example, a tree that will grow to be 35 feet tall should be located 70 to 175 feet from the home.

What is an example of windbreak?

Northern White Cedar Another respected windbreak tree is the northern white cedar, a close relative of the eastern red cedar. As its name implies, the northern white cedar is found primarily in the northern United States and Canada, but in their range, they are an exceptional windbreak tree.

What is a field windbreak?

Field windbreaks are linear plantings of trees/shrubs designed to reduce wind speed in open fields, preventing soil erosion and protecting adjacent crops from wind damage. Field windbreaks are typically planted in multiple rows perpendicular to prevailing winds.

What are the disadvantages of windbreaks?

Windbreaks disadvantages to horticulturemoney and time are needed to plant the trees.the area in which the windbreak is planted is lost to production.windbreaks require maintenance if they are to function properly.roots and branches may need to be pruned to prevent competition with the crop.More items…•

How do windbreaks work?

Windbreaks often are used to protect young trees in plantations and forest nurseries (Gloyne, 1976 ).

Why are windbreaks planted in rows?

As we know, windbreaks are groups of trees that are planted in rows to not only protect the production of agricultural crops but to also serve as shelters for livestock ( Fig. 11.32 ). The number of rows of trees will vary due to the area allocated for this particular purpose or effect desired.

How does a shelterbelt affect crop yield?

Shelterbelts generally increase crop yields on the leeward side, largely because of greater water supply and lowered plant water deficits associated with reduced evapotranspiration and added water from snowmelt. Evaporation on the leeward side of a shelterbelt often is decreased by as much as 20 to 30%.

What is a windbreak fence?

Windbreaks: A windbreak (also called a hedge, hedgerow, shelter belt, vegetative barrier, or wind barrier) is defined as a f ence, wall, line, or growth of trees that prevents the wind coming through with its force ( Ucar and Hall, 2001 ). Spray drift outside a treated area can be reduced by a surrounding windbreak.

What is a biobed?

Biobeds: A biobed is a simple and cheap on-farm construction intended to collect and degrade the drips and spills of pesticides during handling. In its simplest and original form, a biobed is a hole in the ground filled with a mixture of topsoil, peat, and straw in Sweden ( Castillo and Torstensson, 2007 ).

What factors affect spray drift?

Spray drift outside a treated area can be reduced by a surrounding windbreak. Important factors related to efficiency of windbreaks are height, length, vegetation density, number of rows, continuity, orientation, and species composition. Spray drift is becoming an increasingly important part of every spraying application.

Why do windbreaks need to be permeabilized?

However, it is common for windbreaks to provide some wind permeability in order to avoid the negative consequences of potential of wind turbulence immediately behind the vegetative barrier.

What is windbreak planting?

Windbreaks are plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs that are established for one or more environmental purposes. They gained popularity in America during the droughts and soil erosion of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

How does windbreak help soil?

This can play a role in reducing rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as adding carbon — an important component of soil fertility and structure — to the soil via leaf and root litter from trees and shrubs. Wildlife is another benefit of windbreaks.

How to reduce wind speed in agriculture?

Windbreaks are plantings of trees, shrubs or a combination of the two, that reduce wind speed in an agricultural area. They can: 1 Reduce energy costs around farmsteads. 2 Mitigate livestock odors. 3 Reduce wind stress on crops and livestock. 4 Manage snow. 5 Provide wildlife habitat and timber products.

How long does a windbreak last?

As a rule of thumb, windbreaks typically reduce downwind wind speed for a length of 10H to 30H.

Why is it important to choose trees and shrubs for windbreak?

Choosing trees and shrubs is extremely important to make sure a windbreak is effective and long-lasting . Plants need to be winter hardy and should have a positive history of plantings in the area suitable for the site and soils.

How much does windbreak reduce downwind odor?

Studies have shown that windbreaks can reduce downwind odor concentration by 6 to 33 percent.

How to reduce competition in trees?

To reduce competition, select trees that grow deeper roots than crops or prune roots of trees and shrubs. In some cases, loss in crop yields near windbreaks can increase crop yields farther downwind of the windbreak due to improved microclimate conditions.

What is windbreak?

Windbreaks, which involve the establishment of lines of fast-growing trees planted at right angles to the prevailing surface winds. They are primarily used to slow wind-driven soil erosion but may be used to inhibit the encroachment of sand dunes.Dune stabilization, which involves the conservation…

Why are shelterbelts important?

Because of the long-recognized need, shelterbelts, massive plantings of trees that change the energy and moisture balance of the crop, are positioned to protect crops and to increase yields. A shelterbelt perpendicular to the prevailing wind reduces velocity on both sides. A medium-thick shelterbelt can reduce wind velocity by more…

How does windbreak affect crop growth?

Windbreaks reduce wind speed and change the field environment. Depending on the crop, the type of soil, and the local climate, various benefits to crop growth and development occur. In some areas, winter protection and snow cover are critical to winter wheat production. Uniform snow distribution contributes to added soil moisture for spring crops. Temperature and humidity changes may lower evaporation and increase crop water use efficiency and photosynthesis. Reduced wind speeds lower evaporation rates, improve irrigation efficiency and reduce pumping costs.

Why are windbreaks important for livestock?

Livestock in protected areas experience less cold temperature stress, improved health, increased feeding efficiency and improved reproductive success. Windbreaks are especially valuable during the calving season, when protection from late winter and early spring storms is most critical. In dry, northern rangelands windbreaks can be designed to trap snow, providing water for livestock.

How do trees and shrubs help the environment?

Riparian forests provide valuable wildlife habitat and timber, erosion protection for stream and river banks, and act as filter strips for agricultural runoff, protecting water quality and fish habitat. Trees and shrubs planted as windbreaks provide wind erosion control, improve crop yield, and enhance the quality of many wind-sensitive crops. Farmstead windbreaks protect the home site and reduce energy consumption. Windbreaks can reduce stress on livestock, improve weight gain, and reduce mortality of young animals. Properly designed windbreaks can provide additional income from wood products, tree crops, and fuelwood while enhancing wildlife populations. Finally, windbreaks add beauty to the landscape and increase the value of the land.

Why are field windbreaks important?

Another important benefit of field windbreaks is the opportunity for a greater diversity in crop choices. Greater crop diversity has the potential to increase natural control of pest outbreaks and hence contribute to the ecological stability and resilience of the farm ecosystem. The presence of a windbreak contributes to greater habitat diversity, providing homes for a wider range of microbes, insects, plants and wildlife. With careful planning and management, field windbreaks improve economic return by enhancing insect predators and reducing the need for pesticides.

How do windbreaks affect sunflowers?

Field windbreaks increase yields in sunflowers and other crops, resulting in net gains in productivity and increased economic returns. For additional details see EC91-1765. Photo: J. Brandle

How do windbreaks help with soil?

Properly spaced and managed trees, shrubs, and/or grass strips interspersed among fields of annual crops help provide many of the same benefits as complete perennial cover. Roots and shoots remain year-round, holding steep slopes in place. Soils susceptible to wind erosion are protected by a reduction in wind speed. In addition, windbreaks aid in the deposition of wind-borne soil and snow, building fertility and storing moisture. When combined with conservation tillage practices, significant soil benefits can be achieved. In milder regions with continuous crop production, windbreaks provide year long soil and crop protection.

What is windbreak energy?

Windbreaks not only conserve energy, but also produce energy in the form of fuelwood–an inexpensive and renewable source of energy. In addition to home heating, fuelwood may be used as fuel for biomass burners providing an alternative to propane for drying grain or other on-farm operations. Large commercial heating systems using wood chips as a fuel are becoming more common and may provide a potential market for excess wood.

Why are windbreaks important?

Windbreaks play an important role in warding off and controlling erosion, as the design of shelter-belts provides a means of protection for the crops against the wind speed and shelter on both their windward and their leeward sides.

What is the term for a combination of windbreaks and inter-cropping in sustainable farming practices?

2. Alley Cropping . This term is used to refer to a combination of windbreaks and inter-cropping in sustainable farming practices. Called Alley Cropping , in this method different crops are planted in distinct rows, and they are surrounded by the number of trees.

What are windbreaks and shelterbelts?

Rows of trees can help prevent erosion in agricultural fields. 5. Windbreaks and Shelterbelts. The Windbreak, alternatively known as the Shelter-belt, is a method related to the planting of trees along agricultural fields in such a manner as to protect soil from erosion from …

What are wind fences made of?

The synthetic wind fences are usually made up of canvas, cotton, recycled sails, and nylon which may also act as windbreaks. They have some three or more panels which are held in place with the help of poles that slide into the pockets which are sewn into the panels.

Why is a shelter belt important?

It can also be used to harvest wood products. The shelter-belt also provides a kind of safe barrier between the farm animals and vehicles that are being driven on nearby motorways.

Why are windbreaks important for wildlife?

Wildlife habitat — In open areas where windbreaks are needed for wind reduction, they may also provide the only woody cover and food necessary for some wildlife species. Beauty — Trees provide visual screening and permanence in the landscape that other types of plants can not.

How does windbreak affect crop yield?

Crop protection — Windbreaks can increase crop yields up to 44%. Wind protection reduces crop water use, increases a plant’s ability to make food, and may increase pollination. Quality of fruit and other high value crops can be increased due to reduced sand and soil abrasion.

Why do windbreaks curve around the crest?

Length — Longer windbreaks protect more area. Wind tends to curve around the ends of a windbreak because of the low pressure effect mentioned above.

How does windbreak energy save energy?

Energy conservation — Windbreaks can reduce winter heating costs 20 to 40% by reducing cold air infiltration into buildings. In summer water evaporation from leaves directly cools the air. Windbreaks can be designed to provide energy savings for a small residential lot, a farmstead, or an entire housing development.

What are the factors that determine windbreak design?

The most important factors in windbreak design for wind protection are height, density, orientation, and length. Height — Windbreaks reduce wind speeds up to 30 times their height (H) downwind. Height increases with age (to a point) and depends on the tree species used.

How do windbreaks help with snow?

Snow control — Windbreaks can serve as “living snowfences”, controlling drifts near roads, buildings, or livestock or distributing snow even ly over large areas like crop fields. Money and energy are saved by reduced need for snow plowing and artificial snowfences.

What can windbreaks supply?

Tree products — Windbreaks can supply firewood or other products while maintaining conservation functions

What are windbreaks used for?

In recognition of the increasing value of pollinators, windbreak designs are now incorporating pollinator-friendly shrubs. Edible plants, such as fruit-producing trees, are also being included, as they provide the “two-fold practice of providing both protecting value and product,” says Wight. With organic farmers striving to enhance the habitat value of their farm, he sees windbreaks as increasingly valued for their non-traditional benefits.

What crops benefit from windbreaks?

This calm air also benefits specialty crops, such as melons and vegetables that are susceptible to wind damage. Bruce Wight, a former National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) national forester and agroforester, says that growing these types of crops in the protection of a windbreak results in a “positive benefit to crop quality and crop yield in many cases.” This crop yield increase may also be a direct result of the increase in visiting pollinators which also prefer protected areas, as studies conducted on vegetable crops found an increase in pollination activity in protected areas with reduced wind speed.

What is a technical staff windbreak?

Technical staff will work with you to design a windbreak to meet your management goals, whether it is growing edible plants for revenue or growing a windbreak that requires little upkeep. The trees and shrubs selected will be those that are adapted to the soil types and grow well in the area, Wight explains.

Why is windbreak important?

Windbreak benefits extend beyond controlling wind to include soil moisture retention and additional wildlife habitat options on the farm. “When the wind blows on a hot, dry day, for people it feels good to have the wind blow when it’s hot, but plants don’t mind humidity. Humidity and calm air helps them use less water or use water more …

How many trees did the windbreak plant?

A local Christmas tree farm gave him a discount on the 19-foot tall trees, and he planted 40 trees to reestablish the windbreak.

When did Wahl start the Farms Forever project?

In 1999 Wahl partnered with a number of local farmers to create the SARE-funded Farms Forever project to “promote and cost share crop-bearing windbreaks, shelterbreaks and riparian buffer strips as a more profitable and environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional agriculture.”

Do cattle need windbreaks?

Even ranchers can benefit from the addition of windbreaks to their pastureland. During the summer, cattle want the cooling wind, just as we do. Yet during the winter they seek the shelter found in the windbreak, and this shelter translates into tangible savings in feed cost and calf survival.

What is secure windbreak?

Secure Windbreaks can be used for permanent or temporary weather protection, ideal for livestock barns, storage barns, equestrian centres, zoos, garden centres and indoor arenas. Secure Windbreaks are available in a wide range of sizes and can be hung in series along the length of a barn or above one another on a high gable end.

What is the number to call for windbreaks?

To request a price list or to locate your nearest distributor please call us on 01588 680661 or contact us using the form below.


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