Agroforestry

Agroforestry is a collective name for land-use systems and practices in which wooden perennials are integrated with crops and/ or animals on the same piece of land. These wooden perennials could be used to produce trees for timber and other commercial purposes, to produce other sources of food like fruit and provide several ecosystem services such as improved soil, water and air quality, carbon sequestration, habitat for biodiversity and natural enemies. Wooden perennials change wind patterns on arable land, reduce wind speed and improve the moisture balance in the soil. Crops grow better under these circumstances, experience less stress and are less susceptible to pests and diseases.

Depending on the height and width of the wooden perennials, the radiation under the trees changes. Crop growth generally decreases a little in this zone. However, the advantages mentioned above increase crop growth on the rest of the plot. The yield of an agroforestry system (yield from wooden perennials and annual/ perennial crops) generally increases 10-40% compared to a monoculture of annual crops.

 

Interesting links:

Agroforestry (Soil Association) (English)

Agroforestry (Research trust) (English)

Agroforestry in Flanders (Dutch and English)

Afinet (Agroforestry innovation network) (Several languages)

Agroforestry (Agricology) (English)

 

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