By Anne Koliha, Technician
It’s winter in Minnesota and the blustery winds are blowing. Although some winters aren’t as cold and snowy as others, on the colder, windier days you may have wished for added protection against the elements. On those days it’s difficult to imagine that spring’s not far away. It’s not too early to begin planning a new windbreak or an addition to an existing one.
Windbreaks are common sites around Minnesota farms and acreages. A well-planned windbreak will moderate hot and cold temperatures, reduce dust and snow, save money in home energy costs and add value to your property. Windbreaks should be located on the north and west sides of the area to be protected. They should not enclose all four sides or a “dead air pocket” will be created.
Snow control is a great windbreak benefit by keeping snow away from critical areas in a farmstead. They provide benefits to wildlife as well. Windbreaks supply habitat for feeding, shelter, nesting and breeding.
Fillmore SWCD has cost-share funds available at 50% of the cost of potted trees with a maximum of $1,000 to assist landowners in the establishment of a farmstead windbreak. To begin the process of planning a windbreak plan and sign up for cost-share, contact Anne Koliha at (507) 765-3878, ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.