Soil & Water Conservation District Announces Field Windbreak Program

The purpose of the Northwest Ohio Field Windbreak Program is to plant field windbreaks that provide protection against soil loss due to wind erosion and wind damage to crops. The windbreaks may also provide food and cover for wildlife. Plantings where the purpose is the protection of home sites or farmsteads, landscaping, or ornamental use are not eligible for this program.

The application deadline for windbreaks to be planted in the Spring of 2017 is December 9, 2016 to the Forestry office. The cost for the 2017 Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program is $0.35 per row foot.

Landowners or tenants who actively farm agricultural land can qualify for the program. A qualifying windbreak must be planted in or adjacent to agricultural land. The program is for field windbreaks only. The field on which the windbreak is planted must be at least 10 acres in size. One to six rows of trees and shrubs may be planted in the windbreak having a minimum total length of 1,000 row feet. The minimum length for each row is 250 feet. When designing a windbreak near property boundaries, it is important to ensure that the windbreak is laid out on the correct landowner’s property. Property line windbreaks will not be planted. Windbreaks must be located a minimum of 8 feetfrom property lines. Windbreaks must be planted outside of power line right-of-ways and other utility easements.

The Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program is a full service program. Assistance available to the landowner includes an on-site inspection, windbreak design and help in completing the application. In the spring, a pre-emergent herbicide is applied and the seedlings planted. In the fall, the planting is inspected and a second herbicide application is made. Replacement seedlings are provided the following spring to the landowner to replant dead seedlings.

The landowner may need to perform initial site preparation. This could include clearing brush from the area to be planted or plowing a strip for planting. The landowner is responsible for maintaining the windbreak. This includes some weed control and replanting seedlings that die. Specific information on site preparation and maintenance will be provided.

Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation (SWCD) District Technician, NRCS District Conservationist or the ODNR Division of Wildlife Private Lands Biologist to apply for a windbreak. Planting is done in early spring by the ODNR Division of Forestry, so it is best to contact them in the fall and plan ahead for next year’s spring planting season.

Contact Brice Nemire at the Williams SWCD, 419-636-9395 Ext 3, for more information or the Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program visit the Division of Forestry homepage at: http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/landownerassistance

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