Tree barrier blocks odor drift, making expansion possible

by 5m Editor
30 April 2007, at 11:00am

US - A few years ago, Dale Vincent heard the words most farmers want to hear from their children.

RIGHT: West Branch pork producer Dale Vincent inspects a row of fast-growing Austrees which will provide a visual, as well as odor barrier for his wean-to-finish hog buildings. LEFT: The Austrees will eventually give way to rows of slower-growing evergreens.

“Our son, Jason, wanted to come back to farm, and I knew the only way he could do that was by putting up a hog building,” he says.

But, Vincent, who farms near here in Cedar County, ran into opposition from one of his neighbors. He was planning to build a 2,400-head wean-to-finish facility and realized he had to resolve those concerns before construction could begin.

“I’m the only farmer in my section,” he says. “I needed to do something.”

Vincent was able to come to an agreement with his neighbor, and the first pigs went into the finisher in November 2005.

The centerpiece of that agreement, he says, is a tree line that not only limits visibility of his building, but also serves as an odor filter.

“Our neighbor could see the facility from his back door, and we wanted to make sure it was out of sight,” Vincent says. “We did some research and learned that the prevailing winds come from the southeast in the summer and send any odor right toward our neighbor.

“Anything we could do to change the air stream would be an added benefit.”

Vincent started with a line of austrees, a willow-like hybrid tree known for its rapid growth rate. Austrees can grow eight to 10 feet per year, with a mature height of up to 50 to 70 feet.

“They were two to three feet tall when we planted them last spring, and they were 10 to 12 ft. tall by the end of the year,” Vincent says.

Not only are the trees making the site more aesthetically pleasing, but they have been effective in limiting odor.

Source: Iowa Farmer Today

5m Editor