Hi, I'm Jim Brandle, and I'm a professor emeritus of forestry in the School of Natural Resources.
My main research emphasis is the role of woody plants in agricultural systems, particularly windbreaks and their effects on all aspects of crop production. One part has to do with how windbreaks and shelterbelts work. The other major components focus on the economic value of various forms of shelter and the role that windbreaks play in maintaining biodiversity on our farms and ranches.
Key projects involve research into the physics, or the mechanisms, of woody plant shelter and an increasing emphasis on the economic benefits of shelter, especially crop response. These studies are being pursued in cooperation with colleagues at Iowa State University and the U.S. Forest Service.
Working with the cooperators above, we will soon be releasing the second version of a crop windbreak-economics model. This sophisticated computer model is based on intensive studies of windbreak airflow dynamics and will quantify precise effects on crop yields and money saved. It can evaluate any shelter for the economic benefits to corn or soybean production in the north-central United States.
Another recent venture involves investigating the effects of windbreaks on carbon sequestration, or storage. Storing carbon helps mitigate climate change. My colleagues and I are looking not only into how much carbon field windbreaks store, but also how much fossil fuel is saved because that area is taken out of production, and not plowed and cultivated. In addition, other types of windbreaks provide savings from reduced home heating and cooling costs and from reduced snow removal costs.
Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/ 2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/ 2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.