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Selecting trees and shrubs for windbreaks

By Gary Wyatt, Extension Educator - Agroforestry | wyatt@umn.edu




Quick facts Windbreaks are plantings of single or multiple rows of trees or shrubs that are planted for:
Wind protectionControlling blowing and drifting snowWildlife habitatEnergy savingLiving screensReducing livestock odor
The effectiveness of a windbreak depends on choosing the right trees and shrubs and planting them at the right density and spacing.
Considerations Choosing the best trees and shrubs for your situation is extremely important to ensure an effective, long lasting windbreak.
Plants need to be winter hardy and should have a good history of being suitable for the site and soils. Select multiple species of trees and shrubs so, if there is a failure in a row, the windbreak is still effective. A mix of deciduous and coniferous plants is best and should be selected based on the purpose of the planting. Use native plants whenever possible. Density How dense the planting and the number of rows depends on the pur…
Recent posts

Biosecurity reminder for upland gamebird farms

Situation updateHighly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus has been detected in a flock of commercial turkeys in South Carolina. This is a reminder that wild birds can carry both HPAI and low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAI) viruses that can become HPAI. To prevent infections:
Find infections early Look at your birds every day for signs of HPAI.
Upland gamebirds (pheasants, bobwhite quail and chukar partridges) can be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). When they are infected they may show neurological signs like having twisted necks or difficulty walking. They may also have watery diarrhea, decreased egg production or suddenly die with no signs of illness. Make sure that the people who look at your birds daily (workers, yourself) are reminded of what this disease looks like and know to report to you what they see.

If you find 1-2 dead birds in a pen or enclosure two days in a row that you cannot explain, even if all the other birds look fine, f…

Biosecurity reminder for MN poultry producers

Compiled by the UMN Extension Poultry Team
The detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial turkeys in South Carolina is a good reminder that poultry in Minnesota are at risk. The memories of 2015 begin to fade, thankfully, but the new habits adopted because of our own HPAI experiences need to stay. The keys to preventing HPAI in MN are:
Early detection Any unexplained increase in mortality, decreased egg production, respiratory or neurologic (twisted necks or quiet) signs of disease should be followed with a submission of swabs or birds to the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) or Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL). Make sure that the people who look at your birds everyday (either you, your workers), know what to look for.
Prevent exposure 1. Line of separation. Follow safe entry and exit procedures into the barn carefully. Spring weather can make Danish entry systems difficult because of mud, rain, wind and other shifting conditions. At the s…

Receiving shipments of chicks during the COVID-19 pandemic

We hope this message finds you doing well, staying healthy, and looking forward to the growing season. It will be hear soon, in spite of all that is going on in the world around us. Many of you grow and sell broilers and/or eggs, and right now are receiving boxes of chicks, goslings, or ducklings in the mail at the post office.

A note of caution regarding shipping packages is worth considering. According to the Center for Disease Control, a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. While it is important to remember that this is probably not the main way the virus spreads, nonetheless it is possible to transmit it via this method. A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health, demonstrated that the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols (up to 3 hours) and on surfaces (cardboard up to 24 hours, plastic and…

Important update on COVID-19 as it applies to poultry

by Carol J. Cardona,DVM, PhD, DACPV Ben Pomeroy Chair in Avian Health
College of Veterinary Medicine | University of Minnesota

We are all watching the COVID-19 pandemic as it unfolds. Each day, it seems this virus leaves us with more questions than answers. Although we can’t solve most of these issues, there are a few things we know and they can be addressed.

Does the coronavirus infect poultry or birds? COVID-19 is an important human disease caused by a virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV2). The virus may have originally come from mammals, and genomic sequencing of the virus confirms natural evolution of the virus (Scripps Research Institute). Now, it is a human adapted virus causing a disease that spreads from human to human. Although the virus originally came from non-human mammals, the COVID-19 outbreak no longer involves them.

There are many types of coronaviruses and most vertebrates are hosts to one or more strains. Coronaviruses are R…

Biosecurity: plans, puzzles and people

By Abby Neu Schuft, Extension Educator

NPIP Biosecurity Plan Audits The count-down has begun for producers to complete their first NPIP Biosecurity Plan Audit. Each eligible producer needs to have their first audit complete by September 2020. There are many poultry industry members that still need to complete this process. There are also several who will complete their second audit this fall.

I would like to once again extend the invitation to you all that I am available to help you write your biosecurity plan and prepare for your first and subsequent NPIP audit. We can meet face-to-face, online or by phone. I understand putting pen to paper can be over-whelming, but I’m here to help. Please call (320) 235-0726 ext. 2019 or email (neux0012@umn.edu) and I’ll help you get started!
Biosecurity education and training opportunities Many of you are familiar with or at least aware of the Biosecurity Entry Education Trailer (BEET) at the U. This educational tool has become so adapta…

Promise for customized probiotics in poultry production and beyond

Summarized by Dr. Tim Johnson

The University of Minnesota has recently published an article in mBio that is the culmination of a 6-year collaborative effort to identify and develop custom, tailored probiotics for commercial turkeys. The project was led by Dr. Tim Johnson, but was truly a collaborative effort involving other UMN researchers from the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine (Drs. Carol Cardona and Kent Reed), Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (Dr. Sally Noll), and Biological Sciences (Drs. Dan Knights and Tonya Ward). This project started when Johnson and Noll profiled bacterial populations of high-performing turkeys, and identified several species of bacteria that were strongly correlated with turkey performance. From that work, Johnson’s lab cultured more than 1,000 strains of these target bacteria. They then used a top-down approach that involved whole genome sequencing and live bird experiments to find strains with the greatest potential as probiotics in turke…