News Releases



          Now is a good time to start planning for a farmstead or feedlot windbreak.  Farmstead and feedlot windbreaks help protect the farmstead and livestock.  Windbreaks control snow deposition and provide wildlife habitat.  Windbreaks also reduce heating costs of the home and improve livestock rate of gains during the winter.  Heating costs for older homes can easily be reduced by 10-20% with a good windbreak.  Windbreaks also reduce odors associated with livestock, provide a screen from road dust, and enhance privacy.  One half of the rows should be evergreens, but a row of shrubs may be substituted for a row of evergreens.  Species cannot be double rowed.  The district will provide cost-share on ONE row of Colorado blue spruce.  There is no cost-share on all varieties of lilac, Amur maple, Scotch pine, Austrian pine, and green ash. 

          The cost-share rate is 75% from REAP funds.  The maximum total cost per plant the District will cost-share on is $30 for evergreens, $20 for broadleaf trees and $10 for shrubs.  You may purchase higher priced windbreak stock, but the District will not cost-share above these prices. Trees can be purchased at any nursery.  There is no cost-share on labor or rented equipment.  The minimum cost-share payment which can be received is received is $100 and the maximum cost-share payment is $1,500.                       

           All windbreaks must be planted according to your windbreak plan.  Any changes must receive prior approval before planting.  Trees must be ordered by March 1 and planted by May 15.  Bills must be in the office and all cost-share forms must be signed by June 1.  Bills must be an original (no copies or faxes) and contain only trees and shrubs listed on the windbreak plan.

          Weed control is mandatory and part of your maintenance agreement for cost-share.  The windbreak must be kept black for three years.  It is recommended that you spread mulch material such as wood chips in a 3-4 foot wide radius around the tree at a depth of 3-6 inches.  This will reduce weed competition, and reduce the potential of mower damage to the trunk.  Avoid having the mulch in direct contact with the trunk. 


Within the row spacing between trees should not exceed 20 ft.

Within the row spacing between shrubs should be 4 ft. to 6 ft.

Between the row spacing should be 15 ft. to 20 ft.



Keep all livestock out of the windbreak.  All manure runoff must be diverted from the windbreak.


          Newly planted trees must be watered a minimum of one year after planting.  Water needs of a tree depend on rainfall and soil conditions.  In general, a newly planted tree requires one inch of moisture every 7-10 days.  If an inch of rain has not been received in a 2 week period, water each tree 3 to 5 gallons.  In the fall, continue watering until the soil freezes.   Over watering (every day) can actually kill a tree.


          Never seed a sod forming grass such as bluegrass or brome grass.  It is recommended to seed the windbreak to Timothy grass at 4 lbs. per acre.  It is recommended to remove old trees and fall plow prior to the spring planting of your windbreak.

If anyone is interested in establishing a windbreak on their farm, please contact the NRCS office in Orange City at 712-737-2253 Ext. 3.