Agroforestry for arable farmers: guidelines

This Deliverable within work-package 4 summarises and presents twelve “Agroforestry Innovation” leaflets that provide guidelines on agroforestry for arable farmers. The relevant innovation leaflets are also available on the individual web-pages for each stakeholder group and on the Resources page of the AGFORWARD website.

Some of the main advantages of agroforestry are:

  • The combined production of annual crops and woody perennials increases diversification and can reduce financial risk (Leaflets 30, 32, 36).
  • The annual revenues provided by the crop component can be used as a source of income until timber trees reach maturity, which improves the short-term profitability of the system (Leaflets 28 and 29).
  • Planting trees in agricultural land results in improved microclimate (Leaflets 32 and 36), reduced soil erosion (Leaflets 30 and 33), improved soil structure (Leaflets 30 and 37), reduced nitrogen leaching (Leaflet 27), improved nutrient cycling (Leaflets 28 and 29), and carbon sequestration (Leaflets 28, 29, 31, 33, 34). Trees can also be successfully used to shelter crops and soil from extreme weather events, induced by climate change (Leaflets 27, 32, 34, 36).
  • Agroforestry can be used to enhance biodiversity, improve natural pest control and pollination (Leaflets 31 and 35), provide habitat to encourage wildlife, birds and insects (Leaflets 34 and 37). Chemical interventions can be reduced (Leaflet 34) and the use of bio-mulch can effectively suppress weeds (Leaflet 38). Moreover agroforestry can improve landscape aesthetics (Leaflets 29, 33, 34) which can encourage rural tourism (Leaflet 29).

Kanzler, M., Tsonkova, P., Arenas, G., Dalla Valle, C., Desclaux, D., Feirreiro-Dominguez, N., Guérin, O., Herzog, F., Jäger, M., Kiss-Szigeti, N., Mantzanas, K., Marosvölgyi, B., Mézière, D., Mirck, J., Moreno, G., Mosquera-Losada, M.R., Panozzo, A., Paris, P., Rigueiro-Rodriguez, A., Romero-Franco, R., Schettrer, P., Smith, J., Vityi, A., Wartelle, R., Westaway, S., Wolfe, M., Burgess, P.J. (2017). Agroforestry for arable farmers: guidelines. Deliverable 4.12 (4.3) for EU FP7 Research Project: AGFORWARD 613520. (17 January 2018). 33 pp.