Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Windbreak and crop yield study
Recent land values, farm innovations and management such as adoption of no-till, minimum till, use of wide farm equipment, and windbreak plantings that are just getting old, have led to many windbreaks being removed. In time, windbreaks need to be renovated to restore the multiple benefits they offer rural landscapes. There are cost share programs available to plant new windbreaks and renovate mature plantings through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). In most areas where windbreaks were planted, there have been documented crop yield increases.
“In 2007, a windbreak crop yield study was conducted in SW Minnesota. Nine fields were studied. Crop yields were measured with combine yield monitoring systems. The data varied from site to site. Some crop yield increases were from 2 – 3 % while other fields showed yield losses of 0 – 2 % from field averages,” says Gary Wyatt, Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota Extension.
A team of NRCS and University Extension specialists are conducting a 2015 Great Plains Windbreak Crop Yield Study to evaluate crop yields around field windbreaks using modern crop yield monitoring systems. A more complete summary of the study is found in the January issue of the Furrow Magazine. http://z.umn.edu/furrowjan2015
“We are looking for farmers to participate in this windbreak study to validate crop yields around windbreaks, taking modern farming techniques into account,” adds Ginger Kopp, Agroforester with NRCS in St. Paul, MN.
Farmers who have a field windbreak(s) and a crop yield monitoring system and are interested in being part of this Great Plains Windbreak Crop Yield Study, please contact Ginger Kopp, firstname.lastname@example.org or Gary Wyatt, email@example.com or 888-241-3214.