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Title: Wind Tunnel Evaluation of Vegetative Buffer Effects on Air Flow near Swine Production Facilities

item Sauer, Thomas - Tom
item Hernandez Ramirez, Guillermo
item Trabue, Steven
item Pfeiffer, Richard
item Singer, Jeremy

Submitted to: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2008
Publication Date: 4/28/2008
Citation: Sauer, T.J., Haan, F.L., Tyndall, J.C., Hernandez Ramirez, G., Trabue, S.L., Pfeiffer, R.L., Singer, J.W. 2008. Wind Tunnel Evaluation of Vegetative Buffer Effects on Air Flow near Swine Production Facilities. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Conference Proceedings. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Increasing concerns about generation and transport of swine odor constituents have substantiated wind tunnel simulation studies on air flow dynamics near swine production facilities. A possible odor mitigation strategy is a forest vegetative buffer as a windbreak barrier near swine facilities because they may intercept odor constituents/compounds in form of both individual gaseous molecules or adsorbed onto suspended particulates (facilitated transport mechanism). Scale models (1:150) of buildings and trees were employed to simulate a swine farm and surrounding terrain as a case study in a low speed wind tunnel. We measured air velocity profiles (2 to 400 mm height) downstream from the models using a hot film anemometer at air velocity of 2, 5 and 10 m/s under neutral conditions. We assessed three different upstream vegetative buffer configurations: three rows of trees (first tall row of willow trees plus two short rows of jack pine/eastern red cedar trees), and a single tall row of Austree willow trees or hardwood deciduous trees (both scenarios with equivalent total frontal area). In general, our results showed that both three rows of trees or a single row of willow trees as a vegetative buffer have nearly the same positive effect for wind speed reduction (approx. 20%). Conversely, a single row of hardwood trees showed an intermediate effect on wind speed reduction (approx. 10%) when compared to buildings alone and to buildings plus three rows of trees or a single row of willow trees. Because the implementation of vegetative buffers planted upwind from swine confinement facilities can sharply decrease wind speed, they may enhance air quality by reducing transport of odor constituents and particulates. Further simulation and field research is needed to explore additional considerations about the combined impact of buildings and vegetative buffers on both air flow dynamics and transport of odor constituents near swine facilities under more diverse building/tree arrangement/orientation scenarios as well as under broader climatic and topographic conditions.