Buffer Strip Plantings & Windbreaks
Buffer-strips are planted in the area between surface waters and adjacent farm fields/pastures. Buffer-strips can be planted with grasses, wildflowers, shrubs or trees, or a combination of these. Buffer-strips are effective at reducing the transfer of sediment, chemicals and bacteria from adjacent farm fields when they are designed specifically for the local conditions. Buffer-strips that contain flowering species also provide valuable habitat for pollinators.
Windbreaks are trees and/or shrubs most commonly planted along the north and west boundaries of farm fields. Their purpose is to reduce the erosive force of wind thereby reducing the amount of precious top soil lost from the farm land. Studies have reported yield gains in crops grown under the protection of windbreaks. Windbreaks planted around the farmyard are commonly referred to as shelterbelts. Shelterbelts can reduce home and barn heating costs and frequency of snow removal. For optimal efficiency, windbreaks and shelterbelts should be designed for the local conditions.
If you are interested in planting a buffer strip or windbreak, please contact:
Mark Eastman, Senior Coordinator, Agricultural Outreach
Office: (905) 670-1615 extension 720
Cell: (416) 294-7335
Toll Free: 1 (800) 668-5557