Vegetative Environmental Buffers (VEBs) are an odor mitigation technology that have been drawing a lot of attention in Iowa and in other livestock and poultry producing states. VEBs are rows of trees and shrubs purposefully planted in and around livestock and poultry facilities. VEB is a technical term for shelterbelts and windbreaks that are being used specifically for odor mitigation. Research suggests that strategically placed VEBs can play an important incremental role in bio-physically and socio-psychologically mitigating odor in an economically feasible way.
Vegetative Environmental Buffers have been shown to incrementally mitigate odors through a complex of dynamics. Among the most important dynamics are:
- Enhancement of vertical atmospheric mixing through forced mechanical turbulence - leading to enhanced dilution/dispersion of odor;
- Odor filtration through particulate interception and retention - odor travels largely by way of particulates thus capturing particulates helps to capture odors;
- Odor/particulate fallout due to reduced wind speeds;
- Softening socio-psychological responses to odor due to improved site aesthetics and creating "out of sight, out of mind" dynamics and
- Improved producer/community relations by using highly visible odor management technology.