Three years ago, Travis Swartz of Lucas County, in rural southeast Iowa, wanted something to help control odor and serve as a snow and windbreak for his hog barn.
He learned about the Green Farmstead Partner Program from Kent Mowrer, field specialist, at the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers.
He planted 100 Austrees and 60 white and blue Spruce and hybrid willow trees from Kelly Tree Farm of Clarence, which is part of the Green Farmstead Partner program. Kelly Tree Farm helped with species selection, however Swartz said he planted them on his own. He said he’s received many compliments so far on his plantings.
“When I planted these, they were just sticks,” he said. “The Spruce trees have grown from two to three feet tall already, but the Austrees keep getting picked at by deer.”
He said if he has to do it again, he would pick more mature trees, such as those already three to four feet tall, to deter deer. And he’d replant some where the water holds against the trees, and install irrigation.
The Green Farmstead Partner Program allows poultry and livestock farmers access to the network of landscapers across the state. To date, about 65,000 trees have been planted through the program.
To learn more about the Green Farmstead Partner Program, or to get started on a tree planting for your farm, visit www.supportfarmers.com/greenfarms or call 800-932-2436.