By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
If you live in southern Alberta, you’re no stranger to the wind factor.
It’s a fact, the wind blows — a lot. But, there is hope, as Lethbridge County and the Nobleford Agricultural Society offers residents a Shelterbelt Tour and Workshop Apr. 7 between 5-9 p.m. at the Nobleford Community Complex.
According to the county, the workshop will focus on the rejuvenation of windbreaks and shelterbelts.
This one-day event will feature a visit to a local shelterbelt and will focus on planting and maintaining trees, as well as highlighting both environmental and economic benefits of windbreaks.
But, even after the workshop, residents can contact the county for more information.
The day will include speakers from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) and the Mycological Society of Alberta and the event is targeted towards agriculture producers and rural residents residing in the county.
Topics will include:
Tree Planting — How to design and what are considerations and site preparation and species selection.
Windbreak Maintenance — Weed control used in shelterbelts (chemical and non-chemical), pruning, replanting and pests (major pest and pest management).
Windbreak Renovation — How to renovate shelterbelts and steps on how to renovate shelterbelts.
Air quality plus shelterbelts around intensive livestock operation and dust control in rural areas.
Economics of shelterbelts — The real cost of establishing a shelterbelt, loss of agriculture crops and value-added opportunities.
Dwayne Rogness, the county’s Rural Extension Specialist, will be playing host and tour guide, along with the Nobleford Ag Society.
“Teaming up with the Ag Society of Nobleford to have a different venue and target another area — is the idea,” noted Rogness.
According to Rogness, the speakers will talk about the dos and don’ts of a shelterbelt, once on location at one of the shelterbelts in the Nobleford area.
“There’s nothing better than a visual,” he added.
For the uninitiated, a shelterbelt is a windbreak and is used to block the sometimes unbearable southern Alberta wind.
“In a farmstead setting it acts as dust control for the rural surrounding area and it will act as a screening device for intensive livestock operations, as well, to help reduce some of the smell associated with a feedlot,” said Rogness.
Lethbridge County residents in search of more information regarding rural shelterbelts can call Rogness at 403-380-1598.
The tour is free, with supper included, but capacity is 30 people.
Please register early. To register call 403-732-5333 to leave your name and contact information.
Rogness added the county will be holding a sustainable agriculture tour in the fall.