PFRA Shelterbelt Program Cancelled

The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) is shutting down the prairie shelterbelt program due to budget cuts in the federal government. The shelterbelt nursery in Indian Head, Saskatchewan is slated to close sometime in 2013.

Since its founding in 1901 the PFRA has provided free tree seedlings to landowners for the development of shelterbelts. These free trees helped protect farm land from the destructive forces of drought and wind and continue to shelter prairie fields to this day.

Field shelterbelt benefits:

  • reduce wind erosion - a shelterbelt can protect a downwind area 20 times its own height
  • reduce wind damage to crops - mechanical damage can lead to increased crop disease and lodging
  • increase snow catchment - shelterbelts help keep snow on your fields so you have good moisture in the spring
  • reduce moisture loss - the shade provided by shelterbelts helps keep the sun from baking your crops
  • increase land value - a shelterbelt increases the value and appeal of your land

Farm yard shelterbelt benefits:

  • increase privacy - shelterbelts are a visually appealing way to increase the privacy in your yard
  • reduce wind speeds - no one likes a windy yard
  • reduce drifting snow - a shelterbelt can help keep snow from accumulating were you don't want it
  • lower your heating bills - a well placed shelterbelt can lower the heating requirements for your buildings
  • wildlife habitat - shelterbelts act as travel lanes for many animals and provide cover from predators and weather

Despite the coming closure of the PFRA, the region's shelterbelts must be maintained and new shelterbelts developed. While shelterbelt trees will no longer be free, the availability of tree seedlings is not threatened by the closure of the PFRA. Our company,, supplies shelterbelt seedlings to farmers all across Canada.