Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program
With fewer fence rows, less woodlots and fall plowing, Ohio farms lose more and more soil due to wind erosion. The Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program is a turnkey tree planting program in which participating landowners receive a complete service from the design of a windbreak to the planting of the trees.
This Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program is an inter-agency effort that began in 1977 with the objective to get field windbreaks planted in Northwest Ohio to reduce soil erosion, protect crops from wind damage and enhance wildlife habitat. Since the program's beginning in 1977, more than 1,500 windbreaks have been planted, covering more than 6.6 million row feet or 1,260 row miles.
Cooperating Agencies and organizations include: local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in 17 northwest Ohio counties, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Divisions of Forestry, Soil & Water, and Wildlife, and Pheasants Forever.
Windbreaks planted through the Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program must be at least 1,000 row feet in total length, and be protecting agricultural land. Landowners have from one to six rows of trees and shrubs planted through the program.
Spring 2012 marked the 36th planting season for the Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program. A total of 10 windbreaks were planted in 5 counties. Laid end to end the windbreaks would cover 97,134 row feet. Nearly 10,300 seedlings from 9 different species were planted in 2012. Four conifer species made up approximately 40% of the seedlings planted, while 5 harwood and shrub species accounted for 60%.
The Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) continues to be a key factor in the success of the program.
Also check out the recently published Ohio Windbreak Guide (pdf) for additional information on windbreak design, maintenance, planting, and species selection.
For more information on the Northwest Ohio Field Windbreak Program email or call Gregg Maxfield, Ohio Division of Forestry at (419) 424-5004.