Experts to provide classroom and field demonstrations on tree-planting benefits
WASHINGTON -- Landowners, farmers, ranchers, researchers, foresters, and natural resource professionals will gather on Thursday, May 31, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Washington for the 3rd Annual Agroforestry Field Day. The morning will feature presentations in the basement community room of the First National Bank, 101 C Street. The afternoon session will be held at Scott Bokelman's Wildhawk Farms, 2 miles south of Washington and ¾ miles west of Highway 15 on 15 RD in northeast Kansas.

The morning will begin with presentation of the 2006 Kansas Agroforestry Award to Roy and Cherry Brown, of Lebanon. Following the awards presentation, sessions will feature some of the nation’s leading conservation researcher’s.

Dr. John Tyndall, Department of Natural Resources and Ecology at Iowa State University, will lead a session on the role windbreaks can play to reduce odor from livestock operations. According to Tyndall, windbreaks can reduce livestock odors by diluting gas concentrations, filtering dust and aerosol deposition, and acting as a “sink” for the chemicals that carry odors. Tyndall will also describe the most effective windbreak designs for odor mitigation.

Jim Brandle, professor of forestry at the University of Nebraska, has completed more than 30 years of research on the economic and environmental benefits of field windbreaks. Brandle’s research has documented increases in crop yields from 5 percent to 45 percent when windbreaks are properly designed and maintained. Despite the visible loss in crop yields immediately adjacent to windbreaks, yields in the rest of the protected field more than compensate for those losses.

Dusty Walter, a senior research specialist responsible for agroforestry education, and Michael Gold, associate professor and director at the University of Missouri’s Center for Agroforestry, will lead a session describing innovative agroforestry ideas for landowners to consider.

Agroforestry is the integration of trees and shrubs into agricultural systems to improve productivity while sustaining the environment. The five most common agroforestry practices are riparian forest buffers, windbreaks, alley cropping, silvopasture, and forest farming.

After a hot lunch provided by Ricky’s Café, the event will move to Wildhawk Farms. The afternoon outdoor program at Wildhawk Farms will feature four concurrent rotating sessions. Charles Barden, Kansas State University Extension forester, will share research he is conducting on riparian forest buffer design and the benefits of tree shelters for growth and protection from deer damage. Jim Strine, Kansas Forest Service district forester, will use a mature windbreak to provide suggestions on how to practically renovate and improve the function of the trees. Clint Thornton, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks wildlife biologist, will discuss native grass management and how to enhance wildlife habitat for specific species. Thad Rhodes, Kansas Forest Service district forester, will discuss proper design and maintenance of homestead windbreaks using a young windbreak that surrounds the Bokelman’s home.

A $10 registration fee is required for the event. Checks should be made to the Kansas Forest Service and mailed to 2610 Claflin Road, Manhattan, KS 66502. Additional information about the field day maybe obtained by calling Bob Atchison at 785-532-3310 or emailing atchison@ksu.edu.