Ames Forester

Article Title

Multipurpose Windbreaks


Crop diversification is a means of stabilizing the economy of farm communities by increasing real income for farmers and improving availability of affordable nutritious food and other products. Harvest of wood and fruit from trees and shrubs adds to the list of alternatives for our traditional agronomic and horticultural crops. If these woody plantings are designed to lower wind speed over significant areas their value is enhanced due to reduced soil erosion, more uniform distribution of snow, and less energy use, especially by irrigated crops, animals and habitations. The microclimate of sheltered areas is changed which often increased plant growth and, consequently, harvest yields. The comfort and consequent well-being of man and animals is enhanced. Of course, wind barriers can be constructed of inanimate materials but living plants are less expensive to establish and maintain except on inhospitable sites. Trees and shrubs are generally favored for windbreaks rather than herbaceous plants because of their permanence and greater height which provide a larger area of protection year-around.



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