A Wisconsin conservation expert says, when it comes to conserving energy, some people can't see the forest for the trees. For hundreds–maybe thousands–of years, farmers and others have strategically planted trees and shrubs to block wind and snow. Jane Reigel with the Natural Resources Conservation Service says farmers and homeowners seem to be getting away from planting windbreaks, even though studies have shown windbreaks can cut home heating costs by 10- to 25-percent and there are other benefits for farmers.
Other benefits include increased crop yields and profits, a reduction in pesticide drift, improved irrigation efficiency and decreased noise pollution. Windbreaks should be designed with building locations in mind, as they often cause drifting.