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Latest Issue

Windbreak Innovation

Interest in windbreak assessment, renovation and establishment is on the rise — and for good reason.

Publication cover.

Current Info Sheet

Can windbreaks benefit your soil health management system?

Windbreak Renovation

now available

Great Plains Windbreak Renovation and Innovation Conference

Now available online, recorded presentations from the Great Plains Windbreak Renovation and Innovation Conference, July 24-25, 2012…

Featured Publication

Working Trees Info Sheet — What is a windbreak?

This Working Trees Info Sheet highlights the benefits and issues that windbreaks can address or provide. It's part of the latest NAC product line with more to come in the future.

Featured Presentation

Windbreaks — An agroforestry practice

This presentation provides an overview of Windbreaks, one of the five recognized agroforestry practices in the U.S(23 slides)



Windbreaks are linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to enhance crop production, protect people and livestock, and benefit soil and water conservation. There are several types of windbreaks. Field windbreaks protect a variety of wind-sensitive crops, control wind erosion, and increase bee pollination and pesticide effectiveness. Livestock windbreaks help reduce animal stress and mortality, reduce feed consumption, and help reduce visual impacts and odors. Living snowfences keep roads clean of drifting snow and increase driving safety. They can also spread snow evenly across a field, increasing spring soil moisture.

Related Publications

Agroforestry Notes

  • Windbreaks: An Agroforestry Practice
  • Outdoor Living Barns
  • Windbreak Density: Rules Of Thumb For Design
  • Windbreaks: A "Fresh" Tool To Mitigate Odors From Livestock Production Facilities
  • Using Agroforestry To Buffer Noise

Inside Agroforestry

  • Volume 25, Issue 3: Windbreak Innovation
  • Volume 20, Issue 1: Windbreaks: These aren't your grandfather's shelterbelts
  • Summer 2004: Agroforestry Tools
  • Spring 2003: Windbreaks
  • Spring 2002: Odor
  • Fall 2001 / Winter 2002: Alley Cropping
  • Spring 2001: Buffers
  • Fall 2000 / Winter 2001: Carbon
  • Spring 2000: Status Of Our Nation's Water
  • Spring 1998: Special Applications
  • Winter 1997-1998: Living Snowfences
  • Summer 1997: Agriculture/Community Interface
  • Spring 1997: Marketing Agroforestry
  • Winter / Spring 1996: Partnership Special Education
  • Fall 1995: Windbreaks
  • Summer 1995: Sustainable Agriculture
  • Spring 1995: Agroforestry Is National
  • Fall 1994: Alternative Crops
  • Spring 1994: Soil Bioengineering
  • Winter 1993: Trees/CRP
  • Fall 1993: Water Quality

Windbreak Series

  • How Windbreaks Work
  • Windbreak Renovation
  • Windbreak Establishment
  • Windbreaks For Rural Living
  • Windbreaks And Wildlife
  • Windbreaks In Sustainable Agricultural Systems
  • Windbreaks For Livestock Operations
  • Windbreak Management
  • Windbreaks For Snow Management
  • Field Windbreaks
  • Windbreaks for Fruit and Vegetable Crops

Working Trees

  • Working Trees For Agriculture
  • Working Trees For Communities
  • Working Trees For Water Quality
  • Working Trees For Wildlife
  • Working Trees For Livestock
  • Working Trees: Living Snow Fence.

Working Trees Info Sheets

  • What is a windbreak?
  • Can windbreaks help with organic farming?
  • Can windbreaks do more than slow the wind?
  • Can windbreaks benefit your soil health management system?

Shelterbelts and Microclimate

  • Section A (26 pages)
  • Section B 20
  • Section C (22 pages)
  • Section D (21 pages)
  • Section E (6 pages)
  • Section F (17 pages)
  • Section G (32 pages)
  • Section H (17 pages)
  • Complete Document (162 pages)

Specialty Forest Products

  • Marketing Specialty Forest Products (4 pages)
  • Productive Conservation: Growing Specialty Forest Products In Agroforestry Plantings (4 pages)
  • Edible Woody Landscapes For People And Wildlife (4 pages)
  • Hybrid Hazelnuts: An Agroforesty Opportunity (4 pages)

Additional Brochures

  • Windbreaks For Conservation
  • National Association Of RC&D Councils (NARC&DC) Report: RC&D Survey Of Agroforestry Practices
  • Agroforestry In The United States: Research And Technology Transfer Needs For The Next Millennium

Field Guide Inserts For Transparent Clipboards

En Español

Árboles Trabajando

  • Árboles Trabajando En Beneficio De La Agricultura
  • Árboles Trabajando En Beneficio De La Ganadería

Conference Proceedings

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About Agroforestry

Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Agroforestry takes advantage of the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. Agroforestry practices include:

About the NAC

The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) had its origins in the 1990 Farm Bill. It began as a Forest Service Research and State & Private Forestry effort in 1992 and expanded into a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1995. It is administered by the Forest Service's, Washington, DC, Office of Research and Development. NAC offices are located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

NAC accelerates the application of agroforestry through a national network of partners. Together, we conduct research, develop technologies and tools, coordinate demonstrations and training, and provide useful information to natural resource professionals.

About Working Trees

The right trees planted in the right places for the right reasons can add value to land-use systems. That's the Working Trees message that helps natural resource professionals, community leaders, and landowners identify with the concept of agroforestry. NAC uses the Working Trees theme to promote the development of sustainable agriculture and communities.


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