Windbreaks and income increase
The effective windbreak factor of a professionally maintained windbreak covers an area of twenty times the natural height. The “breaking” effect creates a protective zone against the wind, where a significantly better growth climate for the agricultural crops is formed. Scientists expect a gain in income revenue for the protected zone of up to eight percent. To obtain this protected zone, the windbreak need to be dense especially at the lower part. To achieve this density, regular maintenance is required. Depending on the height of the plant, the windbreak needs to be cut once every- or every second year. This will ensure density through bushing of the windbreak.
Regular maintenance bring further benefits:
When making regular maintenance of the windbreak, the cut of branches are often so small that collection or further processing will not be necessary.
When maintenance is done on a regular basis (recut) the job can be done at times when available working hours are plenty.
The cut of branches, do not cause damage or scratches to combine harvesters, choppers or tractors, but are simply mixed with dirt, which will speed up the rotting process.
The most powerful way to perform windbreak maintenance is by using a quadsaw attached to a loader or telescopic handler via an extension arm.
Forward working speed with a quadsaw is up to 5 km/h. Depending of the size of the windbreak, effective maintenance is estimated to 0.5 – 1.0 km. an hour, which has an effective cost of approximately 70 – 140 Euro per km/windbreak.
Additional income factor
Factor example: A windbreak with an average height of seven meters and a length of one kilometer creates a protective zone of approximately 14 hectares.
The yield will be approximately 5 % that equals to a monetary surplus of 60 Euro per hectare. The total additional income for the protective zone of this example will then add up to 840 Euro.
The calculated cost is 70 - 140 Euro per km/windbreak. The calculated additional income is up to 840 Euro per km/windbreak, which concludes it is worthwhile maintaining the windbreaks.