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Big Bale "Windbreak"
If you need a windbreak and don't have time to wait for trees to grow, you might want to take a look at how Iowa farmer Bill Couser uses big round bales to protect his feedlot in winter.
  He makes a two-tiered wall of bales along the north side of his 10-acre, feedlot. The bottom row of 5 by 6-ft. bales stands on end while the top row lays crosswise to form an 11-ft. high barrier.
  The windbreak consists of 400 bales, half of them soybean straw and the other half corn stalks. It's set back 75 ft. from the fence around the feedlot.
  "The bale windbreak acts like a snowfence so snow drops between the windbreak and the fence," he says. "On a really cold windy day, it feels like there's a 40-degree difference between the outside of the bales and inside of the cattle yard because of the protection it provides."
  Not only do the bales serve as a windbreak, they're also a source of feed and bedding for the 1,500 to 2,000 head of cattle the feedlot turns out every year.
  "We start feeding our windbreak bales when we run out of hay, typically in March," he says. "The soybean straw makes excellent feed and the corn stalk bales make excellent bedding at our other feedlot," says Couser.
  For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Couser, 20408 620th Ave., Nevada, Iowa 50201 (ph 515 382-6101 or 2599).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #2