CAFF/Farmer's Guild 2018 Hedgerows and Farmscaping for California Agriculture

Hedgerows, windbreaks, filter strips, grassed waterways, riparian areas, and beetle banks are increasingly being planted on farms and can have multiple functions: they can serve as habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators, and other wildlife; provide erosion protection and weed control; stabilize waterways; serve as windbreaks; reduce non-point source water pollution and groundwater pollution; increase surface water infiltration; buffer from pesticide drift, noise, odors, and dust; act as living fences and boundary lines; increase biodiversity; and provide an aesthetic resource. 
 
Many plants attract native bees and other pollinators, and some hedgerow and windbreak plants—such as citrus or other fruit trees and herbal plants—can have economic returns. As with any planting, problems and issues can be dealt with through management practices. Most growers use plants that they individually like and report that they are pleased with the benefits that farmscaping brings to their farms.
 
Learn more in the 2018 Hedgerows and Farmscaping for California Agriculture: A Resource Guide for Farmers. This publication is an updated revision of the original 2004 Hedgerows for California Agriculture: A Resource Guide for Farmers.
 
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This article was submitted by Sam Earnshaw. 
 
Sam Earnshaw is a Technical Service Provider (TSP) with NRCS and is currently working on the design and installation of hedgerows, grassed waterways, filter strips, and riparian restoration on farms. He has been planting conservation plantings on farms since 1996 and is the author of Hedgerows for California Agriculture: A Resource Guide.

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