The Great Plains Tree Windbreak Consortium is asking producers to provide yield data for a study of tree windbreak impacts on field crop yields.

The consortium is a collaborative effort of the North Dakota State University Extension Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices from the Midwest and Great Plains in the U.S. and Soil Conservation Council of the Prairie Provinces in Canada.

John Nowatzki, NDSU Extension agricultural machine systems specialist in Fargo, is coordinating the analysis. He encourages farmers to make the effort to share yields now that harvest is finished.

Producers can share their crop yield data with him by uploading it to a cloud-based website such as Dropbox or Google Drive or by storing the data on a USB flash drive and sending it to him. Historical and current year crop yield data are useful for the study.

Project personnel will evaluate the windbreak conditions. To do that, the researchers will analyze the crop yield data by strips equal to the average height of the windbreak for each field. They’ll compare the crop yield data in the strips one, three, five, seven and 10 height lengths from the tree windbreaks with the average field yield. They’ll analyze fields in total and segregated by tree windbreak condition and tillage system.

“The objective of the project is to demonstrate the yield and conservation impacts of tree windbreaks on field crop production,” Nowatzki says. “Project personnel will share the information with crop producers to encourage landowners to improve existing tree windbreaks and establish new windbreaks.”

Producers interested in participating in the study can contact their county Soil Conservation District office and ask about the Great Plains Consortium Tree Windbreak Crop Yield Study. District personnel will gather information about the windbreak and explain how producers can share their information with those involved in the study.

For more information about the study, contact Nowatzki at (701) 231-8213 or john.nowatzki@ndsu.edu.